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IN consequence of the great and rapid progress that has been 
made during the past ten years in the art of Canary-breeding, 
I have found it necessary to issue a Third Edition of the 
" CANARY BOOK." In doing so I have endeavoured to treat 
fully and accurately upon every subject of interest to lovers 
and breeders of these delightful pets. 

I have now given a full and complete account of those 
direful maladies, Typhus and Scarlet Fever, the result of over 
twenty years* experience and study since my first discovery 
of these diseases attacking birds. Their cause, prevention, 
and general treatment are fully discussed. Further, I have 
included information on some maladies not hitherto mentioned, 
and have extended my remarks on other complaints from 
which birds are known to suffer. Other subjects not 
previously dealt with in this or any other work on Canaries 
are also treated, and I have endeavoured to set right several 
matters that have hitherto given rise to contention and heart- 
burning among fanciers generally. 

On several varieties of Canaries, including Yorkshire 
Fancies, Norwich Plainheads, Lancashire Coppies, Lizards, 



London Fancies, and Germans, I have considerably extended 
my remarks, and have given the fullest information possible 
about the Modern Crested Norwich, Cinnamons, Cinnamon 
Crests, Evenly-Marked Cinnamons, and the Modern Scotch 
Fancy birds of the most approved types ; with instructions 
how to breed, rear, and prepare them for exhibition. Particu- 
lars of the variety now known as the " Border Fancy " are 
also included. In fact, I may fairly claim that the book is 
brought completely up to date. 

Several new plates of birds of the most modern type have 
been added, while those which I consider out of date have been 
removed. The latest and most reliable recipes for obtaining 
the best specimens of Bed- and Yellow-fed birds will be 
found, as well as formula) for the preparation of other foods 
to be used during the breeding- and moulting-seasons. 

All the information given in my previous editions which 
will enable amateurs and others to trace the progress that 
has been made in this science during the past eighteen years, 
has been retained, and the present edition may, I confidently 
think, be fairly considered as complete and searching as the 
most fastidious fancier could desire it to be. 






III. MULE BREEDING . . . . . . .91 

IV. DISEASES . . . . . . . . .121 

V. MOULTING . . t 162 



VIII. THE BELGIAN . . . , . . . .212 
















XXIV. CANARY MULES . . . * . . . 359 

XXV. WASHING CANARIES . . . . " . .364 



SHOWS . , 376 




THE ingenuity and skill of man are so vast and varied, and 
the success which has been attained in the art of cage- 
making is so prodigious and wonderful, that it would be a 
task of no inconsiderable difficulty to any person to attempt 
to give anything approximating to a full and lucid description 
of all the different patterns of cages that are to be met with 
in this country ; nor do I propose to do so, but simply to give 
a description of those which I consider best adapted to the 
wants and requirements of the times; for cages can be met 
with of every conceivable form and size, from an overgrown 
mouse-trap to a moderately comfortable apartment that is, 
so far as length and height are to be considered and in 
form they may be procured from that of a common fig-box 
to a miniature representation of the Crystal Palace at Syden- 
ham. I have seen cages of almost every imaginable pattern, 
representing cottages, abbeys, castles, cathedrals, and palaces, 
with fine fluted columns, porticoes with pediments, stained 
glass windows, &c., rich and varied in design, and in every 
known style of architecture, including Gothic, Doric, - and 
Ionic, and displaying great taste and marvellous mechanical 
skill. Cages of this description are generally the production 

The Canary Book. 

of some ingenious and industrious fancier, and whilst 1 
admire them as works of art and masterpieces of workman- 
ship, I regret I cannot recommend them as fitting habitations 
for birds ; for, with very few exceptions, all such cages lack 
that most essential requirement utility. Every consideration 
of comfort and convenience is sacrificed to carry out the 
design in its entirety, and hence many of those cages are, 
despite their external grandeur, mere dungeons for canaries 
and other birds. Nevertheless, I am a great advocate for 
handsome cages; but what I admire most is artistic skill, 
combined with elegance of design, practical utility, and sound, 
substantial workmanship ; for I consider a good bird worthy 
of a good cage, upon the same principle as I contend that a 
good picture is deserving of a good frame. 

It is the highest ambition of some fanciers to possess high- 
class birds, and, so long as they succeed in accomplishing 
this object, they care little as to what kind of tumble-down, 
broken, twisted, rickety, rusty, patched-up cages they keep 
them in. They appear to go upon the principle of the 
bucolic Scotchman, who, so long as he received good victuals, 
did not care in what fashion they were served ; whereas an 
epicure which in this instance I will compare with a 
genuine lover of birds is generally as particular about the 
manner in which his viands are served as he is about the 
viands themselves. I have heard it said that half the enjoy- 
ment of a good dinner is in the way it is placed on the 
table, and in order to enjoy a good bird I consider it ought 
to be leen in a suitable cage; in this I feel confident that all 
true lovers of those pretty little choristers will agree with 
me. I consider it a gross insult to good taste to place birds 
of undoubted excellence and merit in cages which are not 
worth as many pence as their occupants are worth pounds. 
Besides, a good, well-made cage will outlast a dozen flimsy 
common ones, to say nothing of the difference in appearance. 

CAGE-MAKING. If you have a latent tendency to the 
mechanical in your composition, and are possessed of a little 
ingenuity as well, you only require patience, perseverance, 

Cages and Cage-making. 

and practice to enable you to become your own cage manu- 
facturer. It is a tedious occupation, to be sure, and more 
particularly so to those, I should imagine, who are not 
fanciers themselves ; but with a genuine love for birds, and 
your enthusiasm wound up to fever-heat, it is astonishing 
what feats of enterprise and skill you can accomplish. 

If you resolve to make a trial of your talents in this 
direction, I would advise you, in order that you may have a 
fair chance of success, to rig up a temporary bench to work 

I G 


at. A strong old table or, better still, a good old kitchen 
dresser, which may usually be had for a trifle at a sale by 
auction, will answer the purpose admirably. Fit on to this 
what is called in joiner's vernacular "a bench lug" that is, 
a piece of wood projecting from the left-hand corner of the 
bench, in front, say from 6in. to 12in. in length, and 
fastened to a piece of stout wood forming an arm from the 
under-part of the top of the bench; it must be set at an 
acute angle, and appear as in Fig. 1. This is to hold the 


The Canary Book. 

wood you desire to plane" in an upright position. You will 
likewise require an angular piece of wood, called a plug, to 
fix it firmly between the bench and the "lug" (see Fig 2). 
The board to be operated upon with this contrivance must 
be placed on edge next the bench, and the plug put in 
between it and the lug, and wedged tight with a wooden 
mallet. When you wish to plane the flat surface of the 
board, you will need a small iron hook driven well into the 
bench with the point projecting towards you; fix the end of 
the board with the hook in order to keep it steady during 
the operation. There are proper contrivances for this 
purpose, but a small hook is all that would be needed in 

In addition to a bench you will require a set of tools as 
follows : Three saws a handsaw, a dove-tail saw, and a key- 
hole saw, and if you intend to make ornamental cornices to 
your cages, a small frame-saw as well; two planes at least, a 
smoothing-plane and a trying-plane, and, if you like, a 
"jack" plane for rough work besides; I would likewise 
recommend you to get two grooving-planes, to "groove and 
tongue" the boards which form the back of the cage. These 
planes are known in the trade as a "pair of ploughs," and 
are of different sizes according to the thickness of the wood 
for which they are required; when for in. deals they are 
called half -inch ploughs, and so on. Glue in the "tongue," 
and this will not leave any aperture or receptacle for bird 
vermin to enter and conceal themselves. You will require a 
square, a gauge, a pair of compasses, a 24in. rule, a spoke- 
shave, a few chisels, a stone to sharpen them upon, a brace 
and four bits, iin., in., fin., and lin., a couple of hammers 
of different sizes, a few bradawls (commonly called prickers), 
a few gimlets of various sizes, a wooden mallet, two pairs 
of pliers (one pair of which must be wire cutters), a pair 
of pincers, a hand- vice, a stout pocket-knife, a glue-pot, and, 
if you take my advice, an instrument called a "sash-fillister," 
used for what is technically termed " rabbeting " that is, to 
let the back of the cage flush with the ends the same as 

Cages and Cage-making. 

will be observed in the back of a chest of drawers, &c., as 
this plan likewise assists to keep out the parasites, for I 
find they avoid cages where good lodgings are not pro- 
curable. Get a supply of glass and emery-paper, wood and 
wire, nails, flaws, and screws of various sizes, a piece of chalk, 
and a stout lead pencil, and you ought to be thoroughly 
equipped for the business of cage-making. 

Do not let the formidable list of tools which I have 
enumerated frighten you from an attempt at making cages, 
for there is no necessity to purchase all the articles 
mentioned at an ironmonger's shop, unless you can afford to 
do so and feel so disposed, as you can generally meet with 
most of the tools at a furniture dealer's store at a moderate 
price, especially if you live in a large town; and, besides, you 
can frequently pick up a few of them at least at some sales 
by auction for a mere song. 

The best wood for the tops, bottoms, backs, and ends of 
breeding-cages is American pine, from half-an-inch to five* 
eighths inch thick in the rough, and well seasoned (purchase 
it from a well-established timber merchant, if possible), so that 
when it is dressed it will be reduced to about tbree-eighths- 
of-an-inch in thickness. For the fronts use hard wood, 
either oak, teak, rosewood, mahogany, or walnut ; the two last- 
named kinds are what I prefer myself, and when well dressed 
off and nicely polished they look really superb. The ends, 
tops, and bottoms of the cages ought to be stained and 
varnished ; but I will treat upon this part of the subject 
more fully hereafter. Make the body of the cage first; 
measure off the timber and cut it to the sizes required, then 
proceed to dress it, fit it, and lastly put it securely together. 
Having satisfactorily accomplished this, cut out the wood for 
the front of the cage, and act as before directed; if you 
decide upon using wood rails for bars, as shown in Fig. 7, 
it will be advisable to make them ready for wiring before 
you fix them permanently. This is a most important feature 
in cage-making, for if you do not have the holes exactly in 
a line with each other, in the top, bottom, and bars, the 

The Canary Book. 

wires will be thrown out of a perpendicular line, and will in 
consequence be offensive to the eye. Compasses are mostly 
used for measuring off the holes, but they are apt to get 
compressed or extended if not handled with consummate care, 
in which case they would be sure to mislead you ; therefore 
you will find it better to use a good stout two-pronged table- 
fork, with the prongs about half-an-inch apart, as a gauge 
for setting off the correct distances between the wires. If 
you prefer wire bars to wood ones, as shown in Fig. 3, you 
will find the task of boring less difficult; still you cannot be 


too particular in the performance of this part of the work, 
and the difference in appearance betwixt a well-wired cage 
and one carelessly and slovenly executed is immense. 

If you use wire cross-bars and you can handle a soldering- 
iron, solder the wires instead of binding; it makes a far 
stronger job and looks much neater and better, but it is a 
somewhat difficult operation for a beginner. Before commencing 
to wire a cage it is a good plan to prepare a bradawl or 
pricker for boring the holes ; it should be exactly half-an-incb 

Cages and Cage-making. 


long in the prong. You can cut down an ordinary one to 
the size required, and then file it until it is of an equal 
thickness throughout ; the point should be made perfectly 
round and sharp, and it should be as nearly as possible of the 
same thickness as the wire you use, but if anything the 
least shade thinner, so as to let, the wood grip the wire. The 
wire can be forced up or down, whichever you require, with 
the small pliers; this makes the wiring firmer. By using a 


pricker of the above description you will not, with ordinary 
care, be likely to split the wood, and the principal advantage 
to be gained by it is that all the holes will be of the same 
depth, for it is intended to force it home to the handle each 
time, so that after you fit one wire you can cut the remainder 

The Canary Book. 

the same length, which it is best to do ere you begin the 
process of wiring. 

As I said before, if you can use a soldering-iron, it will 
be better to solder the wires than to bind them with wire 
binding ; but it is not an easy task to those who have never 
attempted it before. Get a medium-sized soldering-iron and 
a " stick " of solder from a plumber it is simply a mixture 
of pewter, lead, and block tin; but, as only a small quantity 
will be needed, it is cheaper to buy it ready made than to 
make it. Heat your iron to a moderate heat do not make 
it too hot, or it will not work properly. The test is to hold 
it about six inches from your face, and if you feel a good 
glow of heat arise to your cheek from it, then you may use 
it; if you happen to make it too hot, and destroy the face 
of the iron, file it a little, and rub it well among a little 
powdered resin spread on a piece of brown paper, but heat it 
moderately before you do this. As soon as it is ready for use 
you can begin ; but first of all fix the wires into their places, 
and place them as plumb as possible, and, before you attempt 
to solder them to the cross-bars, you must put a few drops of 
muriatic acid, to which a small piece of zinc has been added, 
upon that portion of the wires where the union or joint is to 
be made; resin, finely powdered, and which is generally used 
for soldering tins, &c., is of no use for this purpose. After 
you have joined a wire in this manner, you ought to have a 
little diluted liquor of ammonia in a vessel of any kind, dip a 
piece of cotton waste or rag of any sort into this liquid, and 
rub over that part of the wires that you touched with the 
acid, so that its effect thereon may be neutralised at once. 

You can form the holes for the birds to feed or drink 
through by turning the wire across a round piece of 
hard wood, about three-quarters-of-an-inch in circumference. 
Grip it firmly with the pliers before you proceed to wrap 
or coil it, for you must do this to the extent of half-an-inch 
or more to make it hold firm, or you can make the hole 
with a double instead of a single wire, if you prefer it. It 
is simply done, and you will only require to examine one 

Cages and Cage-making. 

already made to see how easy it is of accomplishment. 
There is, however, a simpler method even than this, 

and that is to bend a wire thus : \ leaving half -an -inch at 
the bottom to go into the wood J to hold it firm ; but if 
you make the round holes you will have to fasten the 
wire to the bottom stay of the cage with a small wire staple, 
or by making a small groove in it to let the wire into. This 
you can do with a sharp knife, but you must not make it 
any deeper than is necessary to hold it firm (see Fig. 4). 

If you can manage to "dove- tail" the tops, bottoms, and 
ends of the cages together, by all means do so; if ~you are 
unable to accomplish this feat, try to " rabbet " them together ; 
failing in this likewise, use glue, in addition to flaws or screws, 
to fasten them together, as it will make closer joints, and 
thereby prevent crevices being left, which must by all means 
be avoided, as they only serve as harbours of refuge for bird 
vermin. If the wood you use is not well seasoned, the tops or 
backs may possibly " spring " a little, especially if the cages 
are exposed to a strong heat, either from a fire or the direct 
rays of the sun in summer time. If such an event should 
happen, be sure to take them off the first time you clean 
the cages out and re-fit them. It is a commendable plan to 
make the fronts of breeding- and show-cages with framed 
wire fronts, to screw on and take off, so that they can be 
easily removed for the purpose of painting, white-washing, or 
thoroughly cleaning the cages; or the framed fronts may be 
secured by a pair of small brass hinges on one side, and a 
brass hook or button on the other, or by fitting in two pieces 
of wire instead of hinges, to lift in and ont. 

It is better to make the compartments of the breeding-cages 
a little too large than too small; the birds get more room 
for exercise, and the air is not so liable to become vitiated as 
it is in a too circumscribed space. 

CAGE DOORS. Fig. 5 shows three descriptions of cage doors, 
all of which are simple in construction. The first and second 
(a and 6) are a combination of wood and wire, and are secured 
to the cage by passing one of the wires, forming a portion 


The Canary Book. 

of the front of the cage, entirely through the two projecting 
pieces at one end, and fixing it in the bottom stay. These 
ends should be neatly rounded off. The door can be placed 
either to the right or left side ; the projecting pieces forming 
the opposite end being thinned away and notched out to allow 
the wire to fit in to the notches and make the door quite level. 

a Wood and Wire H-shaped Door. 6 Wood and Wire Square Framed Door. 

c Sliding Wire Door. 

The other (c) shows a sliding wire door. Many more descrip- 
tions of doors could be given of an ornamental kind, but 
they are generally beyond the capacity of an amateur to 

Cages and Cage-making. 11 

WIRE-STBAIGHTENER. Fig. 6 is a contrivance for straight- 
ening wire, and it not only saves a great amount of 
time, but, if properly made and used, a pound of wire can be 
made quite straight in a marvellously short space of time, 
which would take anyone a long while to do with the old- 
fashioned method of straightening on a block of hard wood, 
with a wooden mallet, and by using pliers. This instrument 
is made of hard wood, mahogany or oak, and wire. The one 
from which I have made a sketch is constructed of a piece 
of well-seasoned mahogany, 14in. by 3in., and fin. in thick- 
ness. At one end is a wire hook, fastened to the under-side 
first, by the wire being bent and sharpened at both ends and 
then driven into the wood, and afterwards secured by two 
small wire hooks in the form of staples, one placed over 


each wire separately and driven home. This wire hook is to 
secure the machine during the operation of drawing the wire, 
and it is placed over a nail or hook driven into the work- 
bench or otherwise. The wire loops are for the purpose of 
guiding the wire and keeping it in its place during the opera- 
tion of straightening. The wire is passed through one of the 
front loops first, and then between the uprights and beneath 
the inner loop which prevents it from jerking out of its place. 
In making an instrument of this description, you must use a 
piece, or pieces, of wire the same gauge as those you wish to 
straighten; bend them over at one end of the wood, the one 
opposite to the one containing the hook, and bend them thus : 

12 The Canary Book. 

C and drive them into the end; the other ends of the 

wires being left free. Next drive firmly into the wood some 
stout pieces of wire in an upright position on each side of 
the gauge-wires, as close to them as is possible. These upright 
wires should be left projecting about an-inch-and-a-quarter, 
and should be slightly bent over in a slanting posture, the 
one made to lean one way and the other the other alternately. 
Much of your success will depend on the inclination of these 
wires, and you must bend them backward or forward, as is 
necessary, until you find that the wire drawn through them 
comes out straight, or nearly so. A little practice, combined 
with patience and perseverance, will enable you to do it satis- 

If you fail to get the wire quite as straight as you could 
wish, you can cut off the lengths required and place them 
on a block of hard wood, and beat them with a wooden mallet, 
turning them in your hand in the same way as a smith does 
a piece of heated iron to get it hammered round; but there 
will be no necessity for this if you succeed in getting youi 
wire-straightener made properly. 

Any good-natured wire-worker would supply you with an 
article of this description for a shilling ; but, if he were inclined 
to be ill-natured, he could easily make it of no use to you. 

finished making a breeding-cage, or, better still, before you 
begin to wire it, it ought to be coloured inside. I generally 
give mine a coating of thin glue-size first, and after that 
is quite dry I proceed to colour it with the following compo- 
sition: Paris whitening and pipeclay, equal proportions. I 
mix them well together, and then add a small quantity of 
ultramarine blue (lapis lazuli), which may be obtained from 
any colourman, and at most chemists' and druggists', just 
sufficient to make it what is termed a " French white," that 
is, white with a sort of invisible blue tint. It prevents it 
from turning yellow, and looks much better. Add to these 
ingredients a little skimmed milk, sufficient to make it into a 
thin paste, and afterwards dilute it with soft water to the 

Cages and Cage-making. 13 

required consistency for use; the milk makes it adhere more 
firmly. It is considered an objectionable practice to paint the 
inside of a cage of this sort. The same composition may be 
used for colouring-out show-cages, only more blue should be 
added in this case, and also a small, very small, quantity of 
rose pink, or vermilion, to give it warmth; but, for my own 
part, I prefer to paint show-cages inside, as the colouring 
matter is liable to be rubbed off, for birds very frequently 
wash themselves in their drinking-tins whenever they are 
supplied with fresh water, and afterwards rub themselves 
against the backs of their cages, and thereby get besmeared 
with the colouring matter, which is detrimental to their 
chance of obtaining a prize. They are never many days 
together in a show-cage ; hence the paint, after becoming 
thoroughly dried and hardened, can do them no harm. I 
give mine a coat of oil paint first (white), and afterwards 
two coats of "flattening," which is paint without oil. I mix 
white lead, lime blue, and turpentine together for this 
purpose; you can regulate the shade of colour according to 
your taste. I fancy that a bird of any variety looks best in 
a cage coloured-out with pale blue (cerulean or azure blue) ; 
it looks far cleaner and nicer than dark or even a medium 
blue. Some people colour their cages black inside to show 
clear jonque and mealy birds in, thinking that the greater 
the contrast the more advantageous it is to the birds. I 
have tried nearly all colours and shades of colours experi- 
mentally, and the colour just recommended I consider best. 
The outsides of show-cages may be either painted, stained 
and varnished, or coated over with the ordinary black varnish. 
If the latter is used, they should have either a coat of black 
paint or glue-size, in which some lamp-black or ivory-black, 
finely powdered, has been previously mixed. This adds much 
to the appearance both in colour and lustre. If you prefer 
to paint them, I would recommend dark blue (Oxford blue); 
but the black varnishing looks exceedingly well, and is very 
serviceable. Breeding-cages ought to be cleansed out and 
re-coloured inside twice a year, just prior to the breeding- 

14 The Canary Book. 

season and again at the close. Show-cages, too, are none 
the worse for being frequently re-painted, re-coloured, and 
re-varnished ; they not only look better, but I always think 
that they enhance the appearance of the birds. 

Some fanciers prefer to lime- wash their breeding-cages with 
quicklime whiting, made by dissolving a piece of quicklime, 
known as a "clot," and weighing from lib. to 21b., in a 
gallon or two of boiling water, with the addition of a small 
handful of salt, and applied whilst warm ; others enamel 
their cages with AspinalTs Enamel, which looks well, and 
assists materially in keeping down the little mischievous 
parasites which are so detrimental to bird-breeding. Before 
using enamel the crevices in the cages should be puttied up 
or filled with a preparation made of two parts slacked lime 
finely powdered and one part silver sand, with sufficient 
linseed oil to make it of the consistency of putty; this if 
properly prepared sets as hard as iron. When quite dry 
enamel should be applied in accordance with the manu- 
facturer's instructions. The cages are afterwards easily 
cleaned, and the appearance is very good. 

tops, bottoms, and ends of breeding-cages look best when 
stained and varnished, and are more easily kept clean. 
Mahogany and oak are the prevailing woods imitated. You 
can purchase a sixpenny bottle of mahogany stain from any 
oil and colourman, and in country towns from most chemists; 
this will suffice for a good number of cages, as it needs to be 
well diluted with water before being used. There are several 
different makers of this stain. I generally use Maclde's, 
though Stevens's is very good. Mahogany stain can be made 
by mixing Venetian red and a little brown umber together, 
and then using it with thin glue-size ; when it is quite dry it 
should be sand-papered down and varnished. Carriage varnish 
is the best kind to use. To imitate oak, use a little sienna 
or burnt umber, mixed with sour beer or thin gum and 
water, with a little moist sugar added to it. To make it 
light or dark depends entirely upon the quantity of pigment 

Cages and Cage-making. 

used. After you have given a cage a coat of the staining- 
liquid, if you think it is too light in colour, make it darker 
by giving it a second coat. After the stain has dried 
thoroughly, you may proceed to varnish. The following is an 
excellent recipe for spirit varnish : Gum shellac (orange), 6oz. ; 
gum sandrac, oz. ; amber resin, oz. ; methylated spirit, or 
"methylated finish," 1 pint. Bruise the gums together or 
separately in a mortar, put into a stone bottle (earthenware), 
and add the spirit; shake it up well frequently for a day or 
two; strain it through a piece of muslin, and it will be 
ready for use. Varnish must not be laid on too thick ; after 
the first coat is quite dry give it a second, and a third if 

Do not varnish the fronts of the cages when made of hard 
wood, such as walnut, &c., as they will look far better French 
polished. If you desire to make your own polish, I can 
strongly recommend the following formula, as it is one of the 
very best for making really good French polish : Orange 
shellac, 3oz.; gum benzoin (Benjamin), 1 drachms; methy- 
lated spirit, or finish, 1 pint. It must be made in precisely 
the same manner as the varnish. Before you commence to 
polish any wood you must give it a coat of raw linseed oil 
some polishers use a little finely-powdered Paris whitening as 
well to fill up the pores of the wood. If you are going to 
polish mahogany, and desire to improve the colour of the 
wood, add some alkanet-root or dragon's blood to the oil, and 
place it near a fire for an hour or two before using. Dip a 
piece of wool or cotton in the oil, and rub it well into the 
wood. When you commence to polish, take a piece of wool 
or cotton wadding, and roll it into a small ball; saturate 
this with the polish, and cover it with a cotton rag or two; 
moisten the rag with a little of the linseed oil before you 
begin to polish, and be sure to go over the whole surface of 
the wood under operation at a tolerably rapid rate. Begin at 
one end, and work your hand round and round until you 
cover the entire surface; then work backward and forward, 
never allowing the polish to dry in until you obtain the 

1 6 The Canary Book. 

bright surface you require. You may be obliged to replenish 
your polishing-pad or rubber from time to time this you 
must do with the utmost dexterity ; but do not forget the 
oil or the polish will not work it will dry and peel off. 
You will find that with care and practice you will soon be- 
come an adept in this line of business. If the varnish or 
polish gets too thick at times, add a little more spirit or finish. 
BREEDING-CAGES. The single-compartment breeding-cage, 
shown in Fig. 3, is well adapted for Yorkshire Fancy canaries, 
Manchester Coppies, &c., and may, if desired, be used for the 
smaller varieties, such as Lizards, Norwich Fancy, &c. The 
dimensions are as follow : Outside measurement length, 
20in.; height, 16in.; width, lOin.; the main front stay (bottom) 
is 3in. deep; three-quarters-of-an-inch of which represents 
the front of the " false bottom " or " draw-board " ; the top stay 
is 2in. in depth; the wires forming the front of the cage are 
fixed into those stays; the seed-hopper is 4in. long and 2in. 
wide, and 2in. deep in that portion which forms the trough, 
the sides extending Sin. higher, and tapering away to a-quarter- 
of-an-inch, forming an acute angle. A narrow groove must 
be made on each side of the outer edge of these, which admits 
of a piece of glass being put in; this forms a cover* to keep 
out the dirt from the seed ; it likewise prevents the birds from 
throwing the seed over the hopper, and enables you to see 
without removing it when a fresh supply is required. An egg- 
drawer, 2in. wide and 3in. long, made of tin, with a tin, 
wood, or brass front, or a porcelain drawer, must be placed 
in the end of the cage, about 4in. from the front. A drink- 
ing-trough, made of tin, zinc, or sheet iron, can be hung on 
the front of the mainstay, or a glass trough used if preferred, 
but by all means do not use those tall glass fountains; the 
water soon becomes turbid and foul in them; they are per- 
fect abominations. At the opposite side to the water-trough 
hook on the seed-hopper. A perch must be placed inside the 
cage the whole length of the front, about two inches behind 
the mainstay, and about one-and-a-half -inches below its level; 
this is for the birds to feed from, and to enable them to 

Cages and Cage-making. 17 

reach their food and water easily. Two other perches must 
be placed about the centre of the cage, on each side of the 
door, as shown in Fig. 3. Fix a half -inch screw in the centre 
of the cage, and another in the centre of the end opposite 
to the one containing the egg-drawer, to hang the nests on, 
about 4in. above the perches, or one at each side of the 
perch. Sometimes tin troughs are used instead of drawers for 
eggs, &c. ; but you are apt to frighten the birds, and espe- 
cially the young ones, when about to fledge, by having to put 
your hand inside the cage to place them in and take them 
out. It is a clumsy contrivance, therefore avoid it. Put a neat 
half-round beading about three-eighths-of-an-inch in thick- 
ness round the extreme edge of the draw-board. This pre- 
vents the sand from slipping off it, and makes a more 
substantial job; but be sure to put it well and firmly on, so 
as not to leave a crevice; or you can simply use the front 
lath only as a dummy draw-board, fixed to the cage with a 
wire pin put through it from the bottom; this is a more 
simple contrivance, and answers quite well. Wire the front 
with tinned wire No. 17. For the cross-bars use No. 13, and 
bind them with tin, brass, or copper binding- wire that 
is, wire as fine as thread ; copper binding is more durable, 
and does not cost more than the brass ; it is about 2s. per 
pound. For No. 13 wire I pay 7d. per pound, and for No. 17 
Id. more. 

In making a sliding wire door you will require two upright 
wires for the door to run upon. I have left the door in the 
drawing of cage Fig. 3 partly open, and have shown the form 
of it so plainly that it would be superfluous for me to do 
more than call attention to it ; a close examination of the 
engraving will enable anyone to see how it is constructed and 
the principle upon which it works. I prefer doors of this kind 
to all others, for if they are properly made and oiled 
occasionally they ought to close themselves ; another advantage 
is that they cannot by any possibility be opened by the birds, 
so there is no danger of their getting out and being lost (see 
also Fig. 5). 



The Canary Book. 

Cage Fig. 7 is adapted expressly for breeding Belgian 
canaries in. The dimensions of this cage are as follow: 
Extreme length, 4ft. ; height, 19in. ; depth, llin. ; the main- 
stay, including draw-boards or false bottoms, should be 3in. 
high. The cornice can be made according to taste. The cross- 
bars in this cage are made of mahogany, the same as the 
front, and are three-eighths-of-an-inch in thickness. The 
sliding doors at the ends of the cage are useful for running 
the birds out into show-cages. The doors in front 
are framed, and are made of mahogany, the same substance 
as the bars ; the feet are made of brass, and are globular 


in form, with a steel screw in the centre, and are procur- 
able at any ironmonger's; the spires upon the cornice are 
made of mahogany. These you can get turned for a small 
sum by any professional wood turner, or you can use a plain 
or base moulding in preference to the cornice if you desire 
to do so; but I think a cornice looks infinitely better, and 
is almost as easily made. In the centre of this cage is an 
upright draw-board, running between two mahogany bars, a- 
quarter-of-an-inch in thickness, and rounded at the edges. 
It is used during the breeding- season for shutting off the 
cock or young birds, as described in the chapter on " Breeding"; 

Cages and Cage-making. 

after the breeding-season you can, by withdrawing this 
board altogether, form an excellent fly- or flight-cage for the 
young birds. Some fanciers prefer to make a three-compart- 
ment cage of this description ; others, one with four, six, eight, 
nine, or twelve, and so on ; but I have always found one with 
two compartments only most handy. 


Cage Fig. 8, four compartments, will be found very con- 
venient for mule-breeding, and it may be used for breeding 
any of the small varieties of canaries, such as Lizards, 
Norwich Fancy, &c. It is 3ft. square, and lOin. in breadth, 
with small communicating doors between each compartment. 

c 2 

2O The Canary Book. 

I generally give a pair of birds the benefit of both com- 
partments. If the male bird is mischievous, or troublesome to 
the hen during incubation, I shut him off by himself; if not, 
I allow him to remain until the hen has commenced to sit 
again. I then shut off the cock and fledgelings from the 
hen until the young brood can cater properly for themselves. 
After the hen has again hatched, and when her brood are eight 
or ten days old, I remove the fledgelings to another cage, open- 
ing the door of communication as before. But, before doing so, 
I have found it a good plan to give the male some water in 
which to bathe ; if he bathes, open it at once ; if he does not. 
take a mouthful of water and spurt it well over him, for if 
you do not take this precaution his ardour may be productive 
of mischief. The doors in this cage are made partly of wood 
and partly of wire, and are cut through the stay to the 
bottom, so as to be cleaned out more easily on account of 
it being destitute of draw-boards. The bars in this cage are 
made of wire No. 12. As all the other belongings are clearly 
shown in the engraving, it is unnecessary to describe them 

Some fanciers are fond of breeding with two female canaries 
and one male. I am no advocate for this method myself ; but 
when it is considered desirable to adopt this plan, I would 
recommend a cage with six compartments in place of the 
one represented, that is, one with three compartments to 
each flat, with communicating doors between each compart- 
ment, so that the male bird can be run either to the right 
or left as circumstances may require. 

There are a great many different kinds and descriptions of 
breeding-cages; but, from my own experience, I have great 
confidence in recommending the adoption of cages such as I 
have endeavoured to describe and illustrate, and I am quite 
sure they will be found to be thoroughly adapted to the re- 
quirements of all who desire to breed either canaries or 
canary mules. I do not recommend cornices to these cages, 
so that other cages may, when required, be placed on the top 
of them to economise space. 

Cages and Cage-making. 


Fig. 9 represents a London-made breeding-cage. It is 
divided into three separate compartments viz., a cage, 
breeding-loft, and a nursery, the breeding-loft being sub- 
divided into two compartments by a wired partition. I can- 
not say that I am greatly in favour of the construction and 
arrangement of these cages. They appear to me cumbersome, 
and are somewhat difficult to clean out and whitewash, and I 
think the dimensions generally used will admit of improve- 
ment; nevertheless they have their admirers. The space 
set apart for the birds to breed in is, as already men- 
tioned, divided into two compartments by means of a wired 
partition; two small doors are placed at the end of the 


cage to give easy access to clean them out, and to remove the 
eggs, as is usually done, until the third egg has been laid, 
when they are replaced, or to examine the young brood, or to 
search for parasites as the case may be. The nursery is 
placed below the breeding-loft, and has a two-fold object 
first, to keep the young birds from interfering with the 
mother bird during incubation; and, secondly, to prevent the 
parent birds, when so disposed, from plucking their progeny ; 
and as these cages are used principally for breeding the London 
Fancy and Lizard canaries, this arrangement is very necessary. 


The Canary Book. 

The nursery is divided from the breeding-cage by a sliding 
partition, wired, with an opening between the wires greater 
than the front of the cage, so that the young birds can get 
their heads through, and so enable their parents to provide 

42in. long and 48in. high. 

fchem with food. The only thing to be guarded against is 
not to make them too wide, so that the birds can get through 
bodily; about three-quarters-of-an-inch will suffice between 
each wire. An egg- drawer and a water-trough are all that is 

Cages and Cage-making. 23 

needed in this division of the cage, for as soon as the young 
birds are able to feed themselves they should be removed to 
an ordinary breeding- or similar cage, and when they are 
capable of breaking the seed, they may, if found desirable, be 
placed in a flight-cage. A door at the end is necessary in 
this compartment also. These cages are obtainable, ready 
made, at most wire-workers' and ironmongers'. Their dimen- 
sions are, as a rule, about 25in. in length, 15in. in height, 
and 12in. in depth, from back to front. The breeding-loft is 
divided into two compartments, Gin. square. 'The nursery 
lOin. by 12in., or thereabouts. 

Fig. 10 is a drawing of a four-compartment breeding-cage, 
with a fly- or flight-cage beneath. The latter can be made 
with a sliding partition in the centre, the full height of the 
open space in front. It can then be used either as a fly- or 
as an additional breeding-cage. Two pieces of wood, one top 
and one bottom, the depth of the top and bottom front stays 
of the cage, should be grooved and fitted for the slide to 
work in, these pieces, of course, being the full width of the 
cage, and they must be fixed before the front is wired; two 
thin pieces of wood are also fixed in front to form an 
opening for the slide and to hold it firmly. The slide should 
be toothed away at the top and bottom edges wedge-shaped 
to make it glide in and out easily, and also to make it look 
neater and more compact and workmanlike. A cage of this 
description is well adapted for a recess in a sitting-room, and 
should be well made of good materials, and French polished. 

The doors in the first four compartments of the cage are 
fitted with a spiral wire spring for self-closing; this is fixed 
to an adjoining wire. It is on the same principle as the wire 
springs used for the lids of mouse-traps, and will be found 
an excellent contrivance, as they are self-closing, and cannot 
by any possibility be left open; hence they prevent accidents 
which not unfrequently happen through a door being left 
open unthinkingly. 

The other doors in the lower portion are the ordinary 
sliding wire doors. Other descriptions of doors can be used 

The Canary Book. 

if preferred, but we advocate those shown in our drawing 
in preference to all others. 

Fig. 11 is a four-compartment breeding-cage with nur- 
series. The nurseries are in the centre, and are separated 
from the breeding-compartments by wired frames made to 
slide in and out, the wires being left sufficiently far apart 
to enable the old birds to feed their -young. It is advisable 

Length, 52in. ; depth, llin. ; height, 32in. 


to have solid wood divisions also ; the latter to be used during 
the period of incubation, and the former when it is necessary 
to remove the young birds from their parents. Wooden par- 
titions may be used instead of the wired divisions, with a 
space wired for the purpose mentioned at one end, but this 

Cages and Cage-making. 

is not nearly so satisfactory as the first-named method. For 
a cage of the above dimensions the breeding-compartments 
should be 19in. and the nurseries 14in. in length. 

I consider the Lancashire breeding-cage (Fig. 12) one of the 
best smgle-compartmenb cages adapted for canaries. It can be 
used for every known variety ; is simple in construction, ample 

Length, 21in. ; depth, 9in. ; height, 18in. 

in dimensions, and is easily cleaned out. A cage of this de- 
scription is best made of mahogany or cedar-wood and French 
polished. The nests are hung inside on screws. 

SHOW-CAGES. The description of show-cage generally 
used for exhibiting Norwich Fancy, Cinnamons, London 
Fancy, and Lizard canaries, and canary mules in, is re- 
presented in Fig. 13. It should be made of American pine 
wood, three-quarters-of-an-inch in thickness, in the rough, as 
it is necessary to make these cages extra strong to enable 


The Canary Book. 

them to withstand the ordeal of rough usage to which they 
are liable in the course of transit to and from shows; the 
length of the cage should be 13^in., height in front the same, 
depth 6in. The top should be placed at an acute angle, 
as shown in the engraving ; the original idea for making the 
top in this style was to throw a reflected light over the 
birds to intensify their colour, which it does to some extent 
when the cage is not placed in a direct light. It used to be 
the practice to place the sides of the cage at an angle as 


well, with the same view, but certainly not with the same 
result, but that idea is now exploded. The chief advantage 
in making the tops angular is this: Most fanciers place the 
cages face to face, with a piece of cardboard or strong 
brown paper between them, to prevent the birds getting 
their heads through the wires during transit to and from 
exhibitions, and thereby preventing them running the risk 
of being injured or killed; the cages are then tied together 
firmly with twine and secured in a canvas wrapper. The 

Cages and Cage-making. 27 

tops being made in the manner described, they form, when 
packed, an angular roof ; and this in a great measure prevents 
the servants of the railway companies from placing heavy 
packages upon the tops of them, which they would be very 
likely to do if they were made flat, and thereby incurring the 
chance of breakage or damage. The main stay at the 
bottom, in front of the cage, is l^in. in depth, and the top 
stay lin. except at the extreme corners, which are shaped so 
as to give it the appearance of the top of the capital letter 
T. At the end of the cage, towards the right hand, is a 
circular door, 4in. in diameter, and bevelled in such a manner 
as to prevent it going inside the cage (see Fig. 13). The 
bottom of the cage should project about a-quarter-of-un- 
inch beyond the front. Two stout wire bars, at equal 
distances from the top and bottom of the cage, and from each 
other, should be placed across the front of the cage. No. 11 
wire should be used for cages of this kind, and No. 13 for 
the uprights, as they need to be very strong ; they should be 
placed three-quarters-of-an-inch apart, and firmly secured either 
by wire binding or solder. I generally bend two wires a little 
at the bottom at one end of the cage (it is immaterial which 
end) for the convenience of the bird to drink through, the 
drinking-tin being hung opposite this aperture; be careful not 
to make it too large, or the bird might get out. Place two 
perches in such a manner as to rest upon the lowest cross- 
bar, insert a piece of stout wire into the end of each perch, 
about l^in., allowing it to project about three-eighths-of-an- 
inch, and fix it into the back of the cage in a straight line; 
cut away a portion of the under-part of the other end of 
the perches to the extent of a quarter or three-eighths-of-an- 
inch back, to one-half their thickness, round or bevel off 
the top edge, and make a notch in it so that you can slip it 
across the upright wire to make it firm, for it is a great 
misfortune when a perch falls down, especially when there 
is only one, for it prevents the bird being seen to advantage 
when it has to be examined by the judges on the floor of 
the cage. Some fanciers use only one perch, but this is a 

28 The Canary Book. 

most objectionable practice, and very reprehensible, as a 
timid bird is sure to dart into the bottom of the cage, or 
against the wires, at that critical moment when it is under- 
going the ordeal of the scrutinising gaze of the judges, and 
a judge is very apt at such a moment to lose his temper 
over it, which is by no means to be desired; bub when there 
are two perches it will in most cases content itself by 
hopping to and fro from one to the other, and by this 
means show itself to much greater advantage. The perches 
should be placed about four-and-a-half inches from each 
end of the cage, or upon the sixth wire. 

If you choose to do so, you can make the front of the cage 
solid, by making it in the form of a frame; in this case it 
should be made to fit inside a little way, and should be 
fastened with small screws at the sides. The advantage to 
be derived by this contrivance is the ready means it affords 
you for re-painting or colouring-out your cages. It is not 
customary to make seed-drawers for cages of this sort, the 
seed being thrown inside the cage. I generally sprinkle a little 
sand over the cage bottom first; some people use oat-, barley - 
or wheat-chaff instead, and others nothing but the seed. These 
cages ought to be coloured inside or painted before you com- 
mence to wire them, as you can do it so much more readily at 
that time. The outside can be either painted or stained and 
varnished, it is all a matter of taste, but it is advisable to 
coat the wires with black varnish, as it forms an excellent 
contrast with the colour of the birds ; and more particularly 
is this visible when the occupants are Clear Yellow or Buff 
Norwich birds. It is the practice of some fanciers to cover 
the perches of their show-cages with scarlet flannel or crim- 
son velvet, and with others to tint the front ends of them 
with rose pink or carmine, or to have them gilded 
with gold leaf. Whether their object is to show the great 
value or the affection they entertain for their pets, or what 
their motives are, I am unable to say; but it is certainly 
an objectionable practice, and, I think, ought to be put a 
stop to by show committees, as all such conspicuous and 

Cages and Cage-making. 


distinguishing marks act as a key to judges, and lead to 
remarks the reverse of complimentary to those who adopt 
these peculiarities. 

Fig. 14 represents a Scotch fancy show-cage. Some of 
these cages are got up in splendid style, and look really 
exquisite ; in fact, to give Scotchmen their due, as cage-makers 
they stand unsurpassed. It is quite impossible to give any- 
thing like an adequate conception of these cages in a 
drawing; the workmanship is of the very best in all parts, 


the wires are neatly soldered, and, in fact, nearly all the 
cages that I have seen at Scotch shows are put together and 
finished in such a manner as almost to defy competition. The 
wood- work is generally made of the finest descriptions of wood 
procurable, and most frequently of walnut, rosewood, or 
Spanish mahogany, and finished in the highest style of work- 
manship and beautifully French polished. In front is a seed- 
drawer, and a "dummy" or imitation drawer front to corres- 
pond at the opposite corner, and these are generally inlaid 

30 The Canary Book. 

with ebony and satin-wood in various devices ; the front stay 
or margin is likewise inlaid with a beading or cross-banding 
of mahogany or other wood, and a draw-board is placed at 
one end of the cage. The length of a cage of this sort may 
be from 17in. to 18in., height 13in. to 14in. in the centre, and 
from 7in. to 8in. wide. There is a door in the front fitted 
with wooden bars top and bottom. There are four pillars, 
one at each corner, extending about midway up the cage, 
about three-eighths-of-an-inch square, and ornamented by 
being cut with a sort of diamond pattern down the outer 
edges ; a wooden bar of the same thickness extends round the 
cage about an-inch-and-a-half below the top of these pillars, 
as shown in the engraving. On the tops of the pillars are 
bone ornaments, having a hole through them, and they slide 
up and down the corner wires. There is a running wire door 
at the end opposite the seed-drawer, in addition to the 
ordinary door, so that the birds can be run in and out the 
more readily. It is also used for hanging a nest upon, such 
as is shown in the illustration: for Scotchmen are naturally 
very economical, and when these cages become shabby or get 
damaged they use them for breeding. They place them upon 
shelves, and either put a wood partition between each cage OT 
cover the ends with paper or calico, to prevent the birds fron 
seeing each other as much as possible during the breeding, 
season. The nests proper are made of leather and lined with 
flannel; the leather is damped, and then fastened on to a 
wooden block made for that purpose, of the exact size and 
shape of the nests. The holes in the nest-boxes are bored 
with a large ungainly-looking brace and bit, made specially for 
the purpose, the latter being in form not much unlike a monster 
claw ; it has a point in the centre, and is hollowed away in an 
eccentric fashion, leaving another sharp point or edge which 
cuts the piece out solid, like a wheel for a toy cart. The 
feet of the cage are made of hard wood, stained black and 
varnished. The nest-box is made of very thin deal, the top is 
wdred and may be either solid or made to open like the door 
of the cage in front; size of uest-box 6in. long, 5in. wide, 

Cages and Cage-making. 

and 5in. in depth, with wire hooks fixed in the top cross-bar of 
the nest-box to hook on to the cage ; the hole for the nest is 
3in. to 3|in. in diameter, the water-trough (glass) is hung on 
the side beside one of the perches, the wire that supports it is 
made to shut up as if on hinges, and a small wire handle is 
fastened on the top of the cage. 

Fig. 15 exhibits a Belgian show-cage. The lower portion 
is made of wood with a draw-board and seed- and egg- 
drawers; the remainder of the cage is made entirely of wire, 


except the ornament at the top, the base of which serves 
as a receptacle to let the wires .into. The cross-bars are 
made of No. 13 wire, the upright wires being No. 17. The 
wires ought to be soldered together; at the end is a sliding 
wire door. The dimensions are : length 14in., height 13in., 
and width 7in. Some fanciers make them rather smaller, and 
with semi-circular tops. The show-cages used by the 
fanciers in Belgium are heavy and ungainly looking, framed 
with bars, having uprights at the corners and cross-pieces; 

The Canary Book. 

the body is square and the tops dome-shaped; the uprights 
at the corners, which are made of half-inch laths, square, 
extend about four inches below the bottom to form legs, 
and give a cage the appearance of being on stilts. 

Fig. 16 represents a Yorkshire show-cage, the lower portion 
of which has a 2^in. wooden frame all round, the remainder 
of the cage being made of wire. Thin mahogany or other 
hard wood may be used for the frame. If made of fir, the 

Length, 9iin. ; depth, 7in. ; height, 15h 

whole cage ought to be black varnished; if of hard wood, 
polished or varnished, and bright tinned wires should be used. 
The improved show-cage (see Fig. 17) is eminently adapted 
for showing Lizards and Crested birds. The upper portions 
of the wires are circular, and fit into a piece of wood 2in. 
wide, secured to the ends and back of the cage. These should 
be made of mahogany and French polished, a brass handle 

Cages and Cage-making. 


being placed on the top for the convenience of moving it 
about. One or two perches may be used, one for a Crested 
bird, and two for a Lizard. 

Fig. 18 is a composite cage. It answers three purposes: 
first it can be used as a moulting-cage, and is well adapted 
for crested birds, which should, if intended for show, be 
kept apart from others, to prevent damage to their crests 

Length, 12in. ; depth, 6in. ; height at front, 12in. 

and plumage; secondly, they are most useful for keeping 
show -birds in of any variety of the Norwich, Cinnamon, 
Lizard, or smaller specimens of the canary family, as it is 
not prudent to put show-birds together or with other birds 
during the exhibition season for fear of injury through 
quarrelling and fighting, which frequently occur when male 
birds especially are grouped together in the same cage; 


34 The Canary Book. 

thirdly, by removing the seed-hopper these cages can be 
used as show-cages, but when so intended I recommend a 
width of 6in. only, as birds do not look nearly so well in 
a broad cage as they do in a narrow one. These cages 
can be made entirely of deal and painted, or stained and 
varnished, or with hard wood fronts, polished or varnished; 
mahogany and walnut look best, to our taste. 

TiiAVELLiNG-CAGES. The travelling-cage shown in Fig. 19 is 
suitable for despatching birds a long distance. The door is 


at the back of the cage, hung on small brass hinges, and 
secured by a hook or button. A perch should be fixed the 
full length of the cage, 2in. from the bottom and an equal 
distance from the front and back. Wires must be bent or 
two round holes made to allow the birds to get at the water-tins, 
which should be hung in front of these apertures. A piece of 
flannel or thin canvas ought to be tacked on to the front and 
over the door, pieces being cut out opposite the water holes. 

Cages and Cage-making. 


Any railway servant would give them a drink of water during 
a long journey. Seed should be thrown on the floor of the 
cage together with a piece of breadcrust, soaked in cold 
water and broken into small pieces; a bit of sweet apple may 
also be put in the cage. It is a good plan to let in a piece 
of glass at one end, and fasten over this a piece of perforated 
zinc to prevent it from getting broken, as by this means the 
birds can see to feed during a long journey. 

To accommodate four birds the dimensions would be cor- 
respondingly less, say llin. by 7in. and 8in., and for two 
birds only 9in. by 7in. and 7in., or for one 7in. by 7in. and 
6in. wide. It is necessary in sending valuable birds a long 

Length, 15in. ; depth, 7in. ; height, 9in. 
FIG. 19. TRAVELLING-CAGE TO ACCOMMODATE Six BIRDS, to be sent any distance. 

distance to allow plenty of space to prevent them from 
getting cramped or damaged in plumage. For short dis- 
tances an ordinary wooden box, with in. holes bored at each 
side and a perch placed in the centre, would suffice. 

CAGES FOR SINGING - BIRDS. Those best suited for 
canaries and mules are neat wire cages, with wood bottoms, 
oblong in form, with arched roofs, waggon shaped; they 
should have a draw -board, a seed-hopper, and a glass 
drinking-trough those made of brass wire are very objection- 
able, for, when they get wet, as they are sure to do every 
time the bird washes itself, verdigris is produced, and it is 

D 2 

36 The Canary Book. 

a deadly poison. I do not like those fancy painted cages, 
either: the paint is baked on, and the birds can peck it 
off quite easily, which they invariably do, and disaster follows. 
FLIGHT -CAGES. Where a fancier breeds young canaries 
by the hundred he is obliged to have recourse to temporary 
places of abode for them, to save him not only the expense 
of a large outlay for cages, but a great deal of labour in 
feeding and watering the birds. If you have a good deep 
recess at the side of a chimney in your bird-room, you 
can easily put a few shelves across it, about four feet 
apart, a few wood uprights and cross-bars, and wire it; 
but the better plan is to make a solid framed front to 
each compartment; this can be hung with hinges or 
fastened on with small screws or metal "buttons," the same 
as are used for closet doors, but smaller; if you desire to 
be very economical, or are wishful to save yourself much 
labour, you can cover the front with half-inch diamond- 
shaped wire-work, which you can buy in the piece at any 
professional wire-worker's use the galvanised, which will 
last for a number of years. I have a fly made in one 
corner of one of my bird-rooms ; it is placed 4ft. from the 
floor, and extends in height to the ceiling, which forms the 
top, the wall forms the back and one end, the other end 
extends from the ceiling to the floor, and is part wood 
and part glass; the wood -work is about five-and-a-half feet 
from the floor of the room. I have a hole cut in it Sin. 
deep, framed round and wired like a cage front: upon this 
I hang two troughs made of zinc with glass fronts; they 
hold about three half-pints of water each. The front is 
formed of glass frames, being part of a glass case such as 
chemists use ; the centre frame is hung with hinges and 
forms a door, and is fastened with a brass button ; this 
framework rests upon a stout lath 2|in. wide and lin. in 
thickness; below this are two deals Gin. in depth, hinged 
at the top, and each extends half of the whole length of 
the fly they lift up to enable me to clean it out, which 
I can do with a small iron rake. I give them water 

Cages and Cage-making. 37 

to bathe in through one or other of these apertures. At 
the other end I have a large drawer which holds 71b. of 
seed; this is covered with a fixed wood frame inside with 
a sloping top and a wired front; it is 12in. deep at the 
back and 9in. in front. This is to allow the light to 
penetrate inside, and to enable the birds to see their food; 
the perches, with the exception of the one to feed from 
and the other to reach their drinking-water readily, are all 
placed at different distances and various heights, care being 
taken not to have one above the other, or in such a way 
that the birds would be likely to foul each other. It is 
lime - washed out, and the perches are made to " ship " and 
" unship " at pleasure. It accommodates forty birds, and I 
generally place those in it that I intend to dispose of. If 
they fight, as they often do about Christmas, I darken the 
apartment, which has the effect of restoring order. 

BEADS FOR CAGE-DOORS. In Norwich I observed that most 
fanciers, including the Mackleys, have their cage-doors some 
distance from the cross-pieces, both top and bottom, and this 
they manage to do by putting in two large glass beads, placed 
on the wire that the door works on, in opening and closing it. 
This is to prevent parasites from congregating there. 

AVIARIES. The illustrations, Figs. 20 and 22 are represen- 
tations of outdoor aviaries. That shown in Fig. 22 may be 
placed on a lawn or in some convenient situation in a 
garden or pleasure-ground. It can be made to any dimen- 
sions required. 

The aviary shown in Fig. 20 should be erected against a 
wall in a sheltered situation, and with a south or south- 
westerly aspect, and should be constructed with an inner and 
an outer compartment, as shown. 

A friend of mine has one which answers the purpose admir- 
ably. It is about fifteen feet in length, and about seven feet 
in width. It is constructed of wood and wire, in the form of a 
"lean-to." A wall some seven or eight feet in height forms 
the back. At one end is a sort of small room, forming the 

Cages and Cage-making. 39 

inner dwelling, which is made of deal, tongued and grooved. 
It should be formed with double boarding, about three inches 
apart, and the space between the boards should be filled with 
sawdust, to make it warm. The front part of this compart- 
ment extends about six feet; in it is placed a small window, 
about twelve or fourteen inches square, and about five feet 
from the ground. This not only admits light to the com- 
partment, but enables anyone outside to see its occupants 
without unnecessarily disturbing them. It ought, however, to 
be covered over with a piece of wire-work, for fear of an 
accident. The remaining portion is all wired similar to an 
ordinary breeding-cage. The door, which is about five feet 
six inches in height and two feet six inches in width, is wired 
in the same way, and placed in the centre; but I should 
prefer it at the end, with an outer entrance in the form of a 
portico, with a second door to prevent the escape of a bird 
when anyone enters the interior of the aviary for the purpose 
of cleaning it out or otherwise. It is fitted with perches in 
various positions, and has a few trees and some fancy cork- 
work placed against the back wall, the latter being fixed in 
a variety of ways to give a pleasing appearance, and for the 
birds to rest on. There are nest-boxes of various kinds hung 
about here and there, including cocoa-nut husks, cocoa-nut shells 
in halves, wooden nest-boxes and baskets suspended by wire 
and strings from the ceiling, and other contrivances of a 
similar kind, which give it a picturesque and imposing appear- 
ance. Self-supplying seed-hoppers are placed about in dif- 
ferent positions against the wall and in other convenient 
places, and water-fountains, also self-supplying, are placed 
about the floor. There are also tins for German paste and 
other special compounds to suit the different kinds of birds 
which occupy it. The top is made of deal, covered with 
roofing-felt, and tarred to make it impervious to wet weather ; 
these boards should be tongued and grooved, but where 
expense is not a consideration I would recommend slates in 
preference to wood. In this aviary is kept a great variety of 
both British and foreign birds and canaries, and they appear 



Cages and Cage-making. 41 

to agree wonderfully well. I also noticed pigeons and doves 
among them. The British birds comprised thrushes, black- 
birds, starlings, bullfinches, greenfinches, brown linnets, reed 
buntings, skylarks, hedge sparrows, winchats, blue tits, robins, 
and many other kinds. Among the foreign varieties I noticed 
cardinals, spice birds, Java sparrows, budgerigars, &c., and 
all seemed to thrive well and agree in a wonderful manner 
almost a happy family. I must not omit to say that the 
ground forming the bottom of the aviary was got out to the 
extent of twelve inches or more, and this was filled in with 
sand and fine gravel, and a garden rake passed over it once 
or twice a week made it always look clean and nice. 

To anyone who has a taste for this sort of thing, I can 
recommend it as a most interesting and instructive hobby; 
but birds do not breed so freely where such a quantity and 
so many different varieties are grouped together. I should 
think there were about eighty birds of one sort and another 
in this ornithological domicile. 

DEINKING-TROTJGHS. Fig. 23 is made of tin or zinc, and 
furnished with wire hooks to hang on in front of the cage. 
A piece of wire is run round the top rim of the trough, and 
two pieces are left projecting in front, so that they can be 
bent over to fit the cages they are intended for. Either wire 
that has been tempered by heating in a fire, or copper wire, 
should be used, as ordinary tinned wire breaks readily, and 
iron wire rusts and decays soon. Fig. 24 represents a glass 
trough which is secured to the front of the cage by passing 
a piece of wire round it, boring two holes at the required 
place through the front stay of the cage, and securing the 
two ends by bending them downwards inside ; care being 
taken that no sharp points are left to injure the birds. The 
top of the glass should be fixed level with the top of the 
stay and arranged to be central with the aperture made for 
the bird to drink through. Fig. 25 is a drawing of a cover 
to be placed over it. This can be made of tin or zinc, and 
a wire passed round the bottom projects, as in the tin trough, 
to form two hooks to hang it on to the front stay of the 

The Canary Book. 

cage : this contrivance prevents mice from entering the cage 
through the water-hole. 


The drinking-glass (Fig. 26) and wire (Fig. 27) for holding 
the same are intended for the Composite cage (vide Fig. 18). 



Another contrivance, and a good one, is to have some small 
tins made, as per pattern (see Fig. 28). The front portion is 

Cages and Cage-making. 


put through the drinking-aperture, and a small phial, with a 
longish thin neck, and filled with water, is placed in the other 
portion outside the cage, and upside down; this is secured to 
the cge by a piece of wire being passed round the middle of 
the battle thus / s v/>, and secured to the wire. It forms a 
self-supplying drinking-trough, and the supply will last for 



two or three days or more. It is easily cleaned out with a 
small bottle-brush, or a few shots, or a little sand. This 
arrangement entirely supersedes the conical water-fountains 
frequently used, and which I consider most objectionable, as 
they get very foul, and the water in them becomes turbid in 


a few days, as they are difficult to cleanse out properly, 
owing to their construction. 

I need hardly point out that pure and wholesome water for 
birds is of the greatest possible importance, being essential 
to the comfort and well-being of all caged birds. 


The Canary Book. 

SEED-HOPPERS. The self-supplying seed-hopper, as shown 
in Fig. 29, will be found very useful for aviaries, and also 
for group- and large-sized fly- or flight-cages, where a goodly 
number of birds are kept all together. It may be made of 
deal or hard wood, whichever is preferred. The one repre- 
sented is Sin. long, 6|in. high (at the back), and 5in. wide 
(extreme width at the bottom). It has a solid wood back 
and bottom ; the ends can be made solid likewise ; that portion 
forming the body of the hopper or seed-box being 2fin. 
wide; but at the lower end of each a piece should project 
in an angular form, 2^in. farther, making 5in. altogether; 

Interior Arrangement. 

these projections are 2in. in depth next the body of the 
hopper, and taper away to lin. at the extreme outside. These 
pieces of wood or projections support a perch for the birds 
to rest upon whilst feeding. The bottom of the hopper has 
a hole cut through it (as shown in the engraving) which 
extends about three-fourths of its entire length, and about 
three-quarters-of-an-inch wide, and is midway between the 
feeding-box and the perch, to allow the husks of the seed, 
&c., to fall through. From the bottom of the hopper, and 
forming part of the front of feeding- box, is a stay or lath 
lm. deep ; and l^in. above this is placed a wood cross-bar. 

Cages and Cage-making. 45 

The space between the stay and bar is wired with stout 
wires, set lin. apart; this is where the birds feed through. 
Above this is a piece of glass extending from the cross-bar 
to the lid of the hopper, and this forms the front of it, 
and enables you to see when a further supply of seed is 
required. Inside of the hopper is fixed a piece of thin wood 
the entire length of the front; it extends from the cross-bar, 
which supports the glass, to within fin. of the back, and is 
placed at an acute angle, and l^in. from the bottom of the 
hopper or feeding-box. This forms the aperture for the seed 
to fall through ; and so long as there is a supply of seed 

to supply Two Compartments. POSITE CAGE (Fig. 18), to supply 

One Compartment only. 

in the upper portion or box the lower portion or feeding- 
trough is kept constantly supplied by this contrivance. A 
small hole should be made in that portion of the back which 
projects above the lid, to hang it up by. The lid is made of 
wood and secured with two pieces of wire, which act like 
hinges. The illustration fully explains anything further that 
is required to be known. The hopper should be made of wood 
from in. to fin. in thickness when dressed ready for use. 

Figs. 30 and 31 are made of wood with glass cover or 
front, arranged to slide in and out of grooves made at each 
side with a stout hand-saw. They are so constructed as to 
fit close to the cage front, with the object of preventing mice 

46 The Canary Book. 

getting at the seed. By using hoppers of this description, 
together with a glass water-trough and cover, as already described, 
and having the cages wired closely, with the wires about two- 
thirds-of-an-inch apart, it is impossible for mice to intrude in 
the cages; and only breeders know the difficulty experienced 
in preventing these nocturnal depredators from interfering 
with their stock, and the incalculable mischief they do when 
they gain access ad libitum to the sanctuary of a valuable 
lot of choice birds. The cages should be hung against a wall 
or partition, for if left on a stand, or table, the probability 
is that these pests to fanciers will gnaw a hole through the 
back or end of a cage. Ornamental hoppers can be made by 


the skilful use of a fret-saw. The pattern should be first 
drawn on paper, and then cut out and pasted on the wood 
to be operated on, for a guide. Hoppers of this description 
add much to the appearance of a well-made cage; but unless 
cages are made of mahogany, walnut, or some similar wood, 
and French polished, the labour would be wasted. 

EGG-TROUGHS. Fig. 32 is a sketch of a tin or zinc trough 
tin preferable with a brass or wooden front, for a breeding- 
cage, and Fig. ,33 represents another tin or zinc trough to be 
used for any cage in which provision has not been already 
made for one, or for a show-cage when required. Being made 

Cages and Cage-making. 47 

long and narrow it can easily be inserted in any cage, bend- 
ing two of the wires backward a little way with a pair of 
small pliers, just sufficient to admit the trough. The length 
makes np for the deficiency in width. These tins will be 
found very useful to breeders and exhibitors of canaries. 

Pearl-white egg-drawers made of enamelled earthenware 
are desirable, as they are easily kept clean, and keep the 
food cool and fresh. They may be obtained, with nest-pans 
of the same material, from Mr. Green, of 96, Gray's Inn 
Buildings, London, or of Mr. Tarns, Drury Works, Longton, 


PACKING-CASES. Figures numbered 34 and 35 represent 
travelling-cases for packing cages in to send to shows. Fig. 
29 is a box made of thin deal, and stained and varnished. 
It is made to hold two Scotch Fancy show-cages; the length 
of it is 18in., outside measurement; the width and height 
are equal, each being 16in. It has a metal handle at each 
end, two brass hooks and eyes in front to secure the lid, 
and likewise a stout leather strap, or rather two leather 
straps forming one. When fastened, the ends of the straps 
are secured on the back and front sides of the box with 
small screws, and one portion of the strap is made with a 

The Canary Book. 

handle to carry it by. There is a hole at each end of the 
box, lin. in diameter, to let in a supply of fresh air. These 
holes are covered inside with a small plate made of per- 
forated zinc to prevent a draught. Any further information 


that is needed can be gathered from inspecting the en- 
graving. Fig. 35 represents a travelling-case made to hold 
half-a-dozen ordinary show-cages, such as are used for 


showing Norwich Fancy and the smaller varieties of canaries 
and canary mules in three on each side. It is 3|ft. long, 
14in. high, and 14in. wide, inside. The bottom and ends 

Cages and Cage-making* 49 

are made of wood, stout deal, fin. in thickness in the rongh. 
Between the ends, across the top, is a stout rail or bar, 
2^in. deep and l^in. thick, let into the ends, mortised to 
make it firmer and look better. At the bottom of the case, 
and in a parallel line with the top rail, is fixed another 
lath, l^in. in depth and breadth ; and in the centre of the 
case between these rails is fastened an upright stay or 
support, which is mortised at both ends, placed across and 
secured to the cross-bars with screws to give it strength. 
The cages rest against the bars, top and bottom, and this 
creates a space for air. Opposite this space at either end 
are three air-holes, each in. in diameter. A metal handle 
is placed at each end of the case to facilitate its carriage 
up and downstairs or at shows, and a brass handle is 
fastened in the centre of the top rail for the convenience 
of moving it about or carrying it if necessary. A thin 
lath, 2in. deep, is nailed on each side, in front, next the 
bottom, to keep the cages firm. Ib is covered with canvas, 
first tacked on with very small tacks, and afterwards bound 
round with "list" or binding to make it firmer and more 
durable ; the latter is likewise tacked on. Along the top on 
each side small round holes are made, and worked like 
button-holes ; these are laced up with two pieces of stout 
twine, secured firmly at each end of the case, and meeting 
in the centre, where they are tied securely. It will be found 
necessary to cut the canvas cover a little way down on each 
side in the middle, to let the cages go in more easily. The 
portion so cut should be bound with stout linen binding, 
and made to fasten up with buttons and button-holes; 6in. 
or Sin. will be sufficient for these openings. At one side 
(outside) you can have a square piece of canvas bound round 
with the same kind of binding, and secured at the top edge 
with a needle and thread to the cover of the case ; this should 
be made to turn over, like the lapel of a coat, to form a 
reverse label, with the word " From " on one side, and the 
word "To" on the other. Make it with two button- 
holes at the lower comer, and place two buttons above 

50 The Canary Book. 

and two below to secure it by, as shown in the illustration. 
Opposite this you can print with ink and a piece of wood, 
sharpened like a wooden skewer, your name and address in 
large characters, so that they may be readily seen; and 
above the address print the words, "Live birds, with care." 
By using these precautions, your birds are sure to be 
returned to you in due course, and you avoid the risk of any 
error being made inadvertently by committee men, or other 
persons connected with shows, in the bu3tle and 
excitement of packing for the return journey. A great 
many fanciers send their birds to exhibitions in canvas 
wrappers, whilst others merely fold the cages containing 
the birds in paper covers. Both these plans are objection- 
able, and entail an unnecessary amount of labour upon both 
secretaries and other persons who assist at shows, besides 
running a great risk of having the cages damaged, and 
their occupants maimed or killed, through their being 
improperly packed by some inexperienced person. The 
cost of these cases is very trifling, and they are so ex- 
ceedingly light that the extra carriage, if any, is very small, 
and, when compared with the comfort and security which 
they afford, sinks into utter insignificance. 

In addition to these, wicker-work baskets can be obtained, 
but the wooden frames covered with canvas are doubtless 
the best. The canvas covers can be coated with two coatings 
of boiled linseed oil, and afterwards with two coats of paint, 
which will make them more durable, and render them to a 
great extent impervious to rain and snow. Baskets or hampers 
I consider too draughty, and not sufficiently warm in cold 




like human beings, are very differently constituted each 
bird has its own temper and disposition, its likes and its dis- 
likes, its own peculiar fancies and ideas, quite as much so in 
its limited sphere as beings more highly favoured and gifted 
than they. I need not, therefore, point out to the observant 
and thoughtful mind the necessity there exists for each 
fancier, as far as possible, to endeavour to familiarise himself 
with the tempers and dispositions of his feathered captives, 
as much really depends upon his knowledge in this respect 
for his ultimate success in producing high- class young birds. 
True, there are some birds that it is impossible to lead 
into the way in which you fain would have them go; but 
I hope to show, however, that even vicious birds, by 
judicious management, can in some instances be reformed 
from ways which are neither pleasing nor profitable to their 

FLIGHTING STOCK-BIRDS. Having selected the birds re- 
quired for breeding, which is generally done between Novem- 
ber and February, run the hens into a roomy flight-cage or 
aviary, or what is better, a small room; the amount of exer- 
cise which they get in this way is conducive to their health 
and well-being afterwards. The cocks, too, would be all the 
better for being put into large cages or aviaries in batches of 
from two to twenty, but not more, as they are generally more 

E 2 

52 The Canary Book. 

mischievous and quarrelsome in their disposition than the 
hens. Of course, it would not do to put show-birds together 
in this way, for fear they might injure their plumage, and it 
will be found necessary to separate them about Christmas, or 
before, if they are observed to disagree. 

SEPARATE ROOMS. If possible, keep the cocks and hens in 
separate rooms; if not, endeavour to keep them in such 
positions that the opposite sexes cannot see each other, for it 
not unfrequently happens, as the spring approaches, that an 
intimacy arises between them, and when a cock or hen has 
selected a partner in this way and they generally select the 
one which is not intended for them they prove sulky and 
malevolent if compelled to mate with birds not of their own 
choice and selection, and the result is that the hen not 
unfrequently frets and will not feed her young, and the cock, 
on the other hand, breaks the eggs or destroys the progeny. 
These results do not always proceed from this cause, but 
generally so, and I have noticed repeatedly that in cases 
where the parent birds appear attached and affectionately 
disposed to each other, they very rarely fail to rear their 

PREPARING BREEDING-CAGES. Having selected the birds 
intended for breeding, and having decided which to pair, in 
the early part of January commence to prepare the breeding- 
cages. First scrape them thoroughly, next scald them well 
out with boiling water; after they are quite dry coat them 
well inside and out with the following mixture: Spirit of 
turpentine, \ pint ; camphor, oz. ; spirit of tar, 4oz. ; dissolve 
the camphor in the turpentine, and then add the spirit of 
tar, or carbolic acid diluted with water, one part of acid to 
three of water may be used in preference, or a strong solu- 
tion made of soft soap and washing-soda, used scalding hot, 
is very destructive to the bird parasite. Some fanciers use 
kerosene and some fir oil. I have used the first two prepara- 
tions for some years, and have found them efficacious, 
especially if the cages are first thoroughly washed with hot 

Breeding and Management. 53 

water to which soft soap and soda have been added. Either 
preparation must be laid on with a small new paint-brush; 
rub well into all the crevices of the cage, where the parasites 
or bird vermin usually harbour, so that they may all be dis- 
lodged and destroyed, as there is great difficulty in rearing 
birds where those troublesome pests exist in large quantities. 
After this is done, allow the cages to be exposed to the 
weather for not less than forty-eight hours, but a few days 
would be still better; next wash them out with warm water 
in which a small quantity of washing-soda has been previously 
dissolved. B/iiise off with pure water ; and, lastly, whitewash 
them out. 

Another remedy is to slightly coat the crevices and corners 
or joinings of the cage with turpentine or wood naphtha with 

FIG. 36. SMALL IRON RAKE for Cleaning Dirt out of Cages. 

a painter's brush, and then fire with lighted paper; but this 
is rather a rash experiment, and needs care and caution in its 
use. It is undoubtedly an effectual remedy. Quicklime, when 
procurable, is best for whitewashing ; when not, use common 
whitening and pipe-clay in equal proportions, and add a small 
piece of alum. After the cages are quite dry, they are ready 
for use. 

Be sure always to sprinkle the bottom of the cages 
liberally with coarse sand the coarser the better or very 
fine gravel. I prefer sea-sand myself, but any kind will do. 
Sand or gravel is essential to assist birds in the process 
of digestion. Powdered cuttle-fish, the shells of the eggs 
of fowls crushed fine in a mortar, but not made into a 

54 The Canary Book. 

powder, or old lime hammered into very small pieces should 
be mixed with or strewn among the sand at the bottom of 
the cage, as these not only promote health and digestion, but 
they form the shell of the eggs to be laid by the birds. 
These are essential during breeding-operations, and are bene- 
ficial to the young birds. Clean out the birds as often as 
possible without unnecessarily interfering with the hens 
whilst sitting, using a small iron rake (see Fig. 36) for this 
purpose. A little charcoal added and mixed with the sand 
will be found useful, not only in keeping the birds in health, 
but it prevents an accumulation of parasites. 

PAIRING. Having prepared your breeding-cages properly, 
the hens can be put into them at once. If two hens are to 
be run with one cock, keep the hens together in the same 
compartment for some time first, until they are observed to 
be on friendly terms, after which they very rarely exhibit any 
symptoms of jealousy towards each other. Before the cocks 
and hens are put together, which is usually done in February 
or March, according to the climate, state of the weather, and 
locality, it is advisable to place them in such a position in 
separate cages as they may be able to see each other ; in fact, to 
be as close to each other as possible, in order that an intimacy 
and familiarity may spring up between them, for if a male be 
placed beside a female without this precaution it frequently 
happens that a severe quarrel and a serious conflict is the 
result, especially if the male be of an amorous and ardent 
disposition. The hen is almost certain to resent his advances, 
and hence an ill-feeling is engendered which is very detri- 
mental to their future well-doing, and frequently leads to 
results not at all to be desired. The best plan is to put 
them into a cage with two compartments, commonly known 
as a "double-coupled cage," with a wired division or slide 
between them, or into two single wired cages placed close to 
each other. As soon as a mutual understanding exists between 
them, they may be placed in the breeding-cage. A great deal 
more depends upon the careful coupling of the birds for future 
results than is generally supposed or acknowledged. 

Breeding and Management. 55 

After the birds are properly paired that is, when they are 
thoroughly reconciled to each other, and on a friendly footing 
it will be advisable to separate them for, say, two or three 
days, which generally tends to strengthen the attachment 
already formed. This can be done by closing the communi- 
cation between the compartments of the breeding-cage, but 
when " single-coupled " breeding-cages are used, the cock 
should be put into another cage, and placed as closely as 
convenient to the one containing his partner or partners. Care 
should be taken, however, to prevent either, if possible, from 
seeing other birds of the opposite sex: this can be accom- 
plished in a variety of ways, which, doubtless, will suggest 
themselves naturally ; such, for instance, as forming lines with 
common twine and covering with a thin material of any kind, 
or old newspapers, so as not to exclude too much light. When 
a cock is placed beside two hens, he will sometimes show a 
preference for one, and proceed to persecute the other; in 
such a case, remove the hen he appears to despise into another 
cage, and after the one he first selects has laid three eggs 
and commenced to sit, remove him from beside her, and pro- 
ceed, as at first, with the other hen. Some male birds become 
so much attached to a particular hen as to resent all others, 
and vice versa, but such cases are of rare occurrence. 

BREEDING-SEASON. The best time to put birds together is 
from the 10th to the 21st of March, although some fanciers 
put them together much sooner; but unless they are con- 
stantly kept in a room with a fire in which must be avoided 
when possible it is not prudent to do so ; in fact, I 
prefer the latter to the former date, and rarely put my birds 
together before that time. The result of a too early com- 
mencement is, that the hens are frequently seized with the 
cold, and become so weak and prostrate that they have not 
strength to deposit their eggs, and unless promptly attended 
to succumb in the effort; at other times they lay them irre- 
gularly, get out of condition, and will not sit upon them; or 
presuming that these difficulties have been overcome, the 
easterly winds, which are usually prevalent at this season of 


The Canary Book. 

the year, carry off the early nestlings, despite the attentions of 
a good mother; or, supposing that they are reared, they are 
often weak and puny, and not unfrequently die when they 
commence to moult. It is better, therefore, not to be in too 
great a hurry to begin to breed. Of course, much depends 
on the weather and the part of the country in which the fancier 
resides. In Devonshire, Cornwall, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, 
and all counties situated in the south, south-west, and west 
of England, operations in bird-breeding may be begun from 
three weeks to a month earlier than in the extreme north 
of England and most parts of Scotland, and in the Mid-^ 
land counties a time midway between February 14th and 
March 23rd should be chosen. 

7 INS 



FOOD FOR NEWLY-PAIRED BIRDS. When the birds are 
put together finally, feed them liberally; give them hard- 
boiled egg, chopped fine or grated through a piece of per- 
forated zinc. For this purpose get a small fig- or cigar-box, 
knock the bottom out, and nail the zinc on in its place, or 
make a small box, 6in. square by 2in. deep (Fig. 37), and 
obtain a wooden or an iron spatula (Fig. 38). Take as much 
egg as is required, free it from the shell, and press through the 
zinc with the spatula or a knife having a stout blade, or a chisel 
will do as well ; next rub through the same machine, or in 

Breeding and Management. 57 

your hands, an equal portion of bread, not too new, mix them 
together, either with a knife, or rub them together in an old 
newspaper; give about two teaspoonfuls of this to each pair 
of birds daily; every alternate day give them a little maw 
or hemp - seed (the former preferred), and occasionally a 
little linseed and millet-seed. After the birds have been 
together two or three days give them a nest. 

CRUSHING-SEED. A large number of Norwich fanciers use 
a small coffee- or pepper-mill for crushing hemp and other 
seeds, which I noticed some of them gave their birds whilst 
breeding. After crushing, the husks must be removed: this 
may be accomplished either by blowing them away or by 

PREPARED FOOD. A good mixture of dry food can be pre- 
pared as follows: Breadcrusts, rusks, or biscuits, 8oz.; ground 
linseed, pure, 2oz. ; finely-ground oatmeal, 3oz. ; ground rice, 
3oz. ; crushed hemp-seed, freed from husks, 2oz. ; powdered 
loaf sugar, 4oz. ; salt, oz. ; maw-seed, 2oz. This food should 
all be reduced to a fine powder, except the maw-seed, which 
may be added whole, and the mixture should be rubbed well 
together in a mortar, or other suitable vessel, and kept in a 
tin canister in a dry place. It is invaluable as a food for 
birds, and may be given to them ad libitum if desired; they 
are very fond of it. It should be mixed with hot water to 
a moderate consistency, and given to the birds when cold, or 
nearly so. A teaspoonful of this mixture is sufficient for 
any bird for one day when not breeding. It keeps them in 
health and condition, and you need use no other food for 
rearing young birds unless you choose, but be careful not 
to let it get sour, and keep the feeding -tins scrupulously 
clean. It increases the bone and muscle. 

The crusts, rusks, biscuits, and sugar can be powdered as 
finely as you please by using one of Hancock's Patent Bread- 
crumbing and Sugar-Mills, sold complete for a few shillings. 
These machines are most useful to breeders who keep a lot 
of birds, and can be procured from F. and C. Hancock's 

The Canarv Book. 

Dudley. The preparation mentioned above is of my own 
invention; it far surpasses any of the compounds I have 
been able to purchase, and can be made for about one-eighth 
of the price. 


NESTS. The nests that I prefer to all others are round tin 
nests, the bottoms of which are slightly globular in form, 

Breeding and Management. 59 

and made of perforated zinc, having an upright tin back 
(Fig. 39), with a hole in it by which to hang it up. Fix a ^in. 
screw-nail in each breeding-compartment in such a position 
as will allow the top of the nest to be about one in<;h above 
the perch, and lin. from it, to enable the birds to feed their 
young from the perches; the zinc bottoms let air into the 
nest, which is necessary. I line these tins with felt; any 
kind of felt will do, so long as it is soft and pliable an old 
felt hat, for instance, but I prefer the thick felt used for lining 
saddles, which can be procured from any saddler. This I split 


in two; I place the outside of the felt at the bottom of the 
nest, as the inner surface is much softer for the hens to sit 
upon. I generally have three sizes of these nests. The first 
is 3in. in diameter and lin. deep; these I use for the hens 
to sit in during incubation. The second size is 3$in. in dia- 
meter and 2in. deep, and the third 4in. in diameter and 2in. 
deep; these I use for transferring the young birds into when 
eight or nine days old. I use them according to the number 
of young birds. Second size for three or four, and the larger 

60 The Canary Book. 

for any number exceeding that just given. In Fig. 40 I give 
a pattern, on a reduced scale, showing the shape of the felt 
or lining. I first cut it round, and then I cut out the angular 
pieces, and, drawing the parts together where the vacancies 
exist, I sew the edges firmly and neatly together. If carefully 
cut and sewn, they form nests precisely the shape of the tins. 
I then sew them through the perforated zinc bottoms, 
which keeps them quite firm. Fig. 41 represents a wooden 
block used for fitting the felt linings into the tin nests. It 
is made of hard wood. The block is for pressing them into 
shape after this has been done. I always tease out a piece 



of felt and place it over the seams, and by screwing the block 
backwards and forwards, or round and round, it causes the 
teased-out felt to adhere firmly to the lining and makes the 
nest look smooth and neat. The block will likewise be found 
very useful when an old felt hat is used for a lining. In 
this case the felt is cut round, but is not notched. It must 
be steeped in hot water for an hour or so, wrung out tightly, 
and while hot stretched well over the block and tied securely. 
When it is dry it will be found the proper shape, and ready 
for use. It may be done overnight, or dried at a slow fire. 
Before putting in the felt, if a little sweet-oil be rubbed 

Breeding and Management. 


round the tin, or a little snuff, or Keating's Insect Powder 
be sprinkled inside, not many parasites, or " bird lice," will 
be found to exist. These linings can be taken out and 
washed after each brood, and they will last for years. 

Fig. 39 is the tin nest with the lining, ready for use. 
Where tin nests cannot be readily procured, get a cocoa-nut 
and cut the shell into pieces as nearly the size to those given 
as can be obtained; pub on a wooden back and line them the 

mahogany frame, fastened 
with screw through bottom. 

FIG. 43. COCOA-NUT NEST, fitted 
with piece of wood and wire. 

same way, only I find a coating of thin glue- size round the 
top edge answers best for this description of nests to fasten 
in the felt. My birds all prefer nests of this sort, and I 
imagine that I can make a nest with the best architectural 
canary in existence. Canaries generally are bad architects. I 
likewise give them a piece of well-dried short moss and 
a little cow-hair; these dispose them to breed with more 

62 The Canary Book. 

freedom, though I seldom find them make good use of the 
materials, and ultimately, as a rule, they throw them all out 
ere they lay, evidently satisfied that they cannot improve 
upon the "original," although occasionally I find a hen 
construct a very neat nest from this material. These 
materials likewise prevent them from plucking their progeny. 
Instinctively they all have a notion of making a nest ; but 
only instinctively, I consider. As a general rule I am . no 
advocate for the " square box " and " dried grass and wool 
nests," although I know they are much used. Next to what 
I have described, I prefer those used by Scotchmen gene- 
rally made of leather lined with flannel and let into a piece 
of wood with a round hole cut in it, with wooden sides 
fastened to it, wired top and back, and hung with wire hooks 
on to a square hole made in the end of the cage. Tease out 
a piece of the felt or saddle-cloth or a piece of wool carpet as 
fine as possible, and place it in the wires of the breeding- 
cages; this will induce the hens to take to the nest all the 
more readily. Figs. 42 and 43 show method of fixing cocoa-nut 

Glazed earthenware nest-pans are used by some fanciers, but 
I prefer those I have already described, as I think earthen- 
ware too cold for general use. Such pans may be beneficial 
in very hot weather, or in cases where hens are known to 
sweat their young brood. These pans can be had from both 
Mr. Green and Mr. Tarns, whose addresses I have already 
furnished (see page 47). Wooden nest-boxes and wicker nest- 
baskets are preferred by some fanciers. The former are 
made from three to three-and-a-half inches square or in 
diameter, and one-and-three-quarter inches deep, inside measure- 
ments, with a projecting angular uack, the latter being about 
four-and-a-half inches in length, with a hole near the top by 
which to hang it up, and a few small holes made in the 
bottom, front, and sides for air to get to the nest. Where 
these are used dried grass or hay, moss, and cow-hair must 
be supplied for the birds to build their own nests. I should 
prefer a zinc bottom perforated. 

Breeding and Management. 63 

GREEN FOOD, &c. When a hen carries material to the nest 
and works freely with it, she will probably lay soon ; therefore a 
little moist sugar must be added to the egg and bread, and a 
little green food, such as winter lettuce, watercress, groundsel 
if ripe, not otherwise or the leaves and stalks of broccoli- 
should be given. 

A little beef -suet and a piece of raw apple should be placed 
between the wires of the cage for the birds to peck, and if 
a hen has a difficulty in laying her eggs, or seems thick, dull, 
and husky, put a few drops of castor oil on a piece of sponge 
cake, soaked in sherry and squeezed partly dry first, 
and either place it between the wires or put it in the egg- 
drawer; this will generally give relief. 

In the middle of February, when ordinary green food is 
difficult to procure, a good substitute may be obtained by 
putting into a pan or vessel of any kind, long and not too 
deep, a quantity of rape-seed sowing-rape, which ought to 
be procured of a seedsman, and not runch-seed, or spoiled 
turnip-seed, which is very frequently sold by grocers in 
country towns for that article, and which is injurious to the 
birds spread it equally over the vessel, then pour in a 
quantity of water, sufficient to float the seed well, and place 
it where it will get the most light and heat; a greenhouse is 
the best place, but a kitchen window, especially with a south 
aspect, will do quite well. This, of course, is merely a make- 
shift for the beginning of the season, as plenty of green food- 
is procurable in the month of May. When it is tolerably 
well grown it can be cut out in pieces, roots and all, and 
placed in the breeding-cages ; it is best to put it in a small 
cup or salt-server in water. The birds eat it readily, and 
appear to like it. With this treatment the hen will rarely, 
if ever, be egg-bound. I have known fanciers, in the spring 
of the year, when green food is very scarce, feed their young 
birds with dandelion- leaves. Where such food is resorted to 
it is essential that it should be immersed in lukewarm water 
over night, especially if the weather is frosty, otherwise its 
use will be attended with fatal consequences. 

64 The Canary Book. 

Some fanciers prefer not to give green food to their birds 
during breeding operations, only egg food and seed. I have 
tried both plans, and prefer giving wholesome green food in 
moderation, preferring ripe chick-weed, groundsel, dandelion, 
and young lettuce to all other kinds; in excess green food is 
decidedly objectionable. 

I have seen it asserted that the giving of green food causes 
the hens to sweat their young; this is in my opinion a mi a. 
taken notion, and not tenable by any rule of logic or common- 
sense, and in my experience it certainly proved fallacious. 
Birds are sweated by the hens sitting too close, and the 
oftener you can tempt them to leave the nest, the less likely 
are they to become too hot, and thereby overheat their pro- 
geny. Nothing will tempt them to come off the nest sooner 
than a fresh supply of green food, which should be well washed 
and given to them damp, inside the cage in a suitable vessel ; 
they will be sure to have a refresher by settling on the 
top of it, and trying to turn it into a substitute for a bath. 
It has also been advocated to feed birds solely on seed soaked 
in water, and given fresh frequently. Such advice I consider 
can only be given by persons of limited experience, and I 
regard it as an absurd and impractical suggestion, and one 
contrary to the natural instincts of the birds themselves, as 
can be easily proved by placing the two foods soaked seed 
and the prepared egg food side by side, and allowing them 
their choice. I knew a working-man, a bird fancier, who, 
owing to ill-health and misfortune, could not afford to purchase 
eggs and luxuries for his birds, one season reared several 
young ones on boiled potatoes mixed with bread previously 
soaked in water, and on this diet they thrived, and appeared 
strong and healthy. This is a much more sensible method than 
the sole use of seeds for such delicately-constituted things as 
newly-hatched canaries. 

EGG-BOUND. When the hens are about to lay they should 
be closely watched, and if a hen is expected to lay, and she 
does not do so before nine o'clock in the morning, but appears 
dull and drooping, and sitting with her feathers ruffled up, 

Breeding and Management. 65 

take her ont of the cage and examine her. If she be found 
to be egg-bound, drop a few drops of salad, olive, or almond 
oil on the vent; and, if she does not get better, or lay within 
an hour after this treatment, roll her up in flannel and place 
her beside a brisk fire, taking care to leave her head out; if 
she gets worse, give her two drops of castor oil open her 
bill as wide as possible and get some one to drop it over 
her tongue with a warmed knitting-needle. After she has laid 
replace her in her cage, and give her a little sponge cake 
soaked in sherry wine, and add more sugar to the egg and 
bread. If she has a difficulty in laying her eggs afterwards 
keep her in a warm room until she lays her complement. 
Be careful not to break the egg before it is laid, or the bird 
will die. 

Another commendable plan is to take the hen about to lay 
in your hand (having first well warmed it), about three- 
parts fill a cup with hot water, cover it with a 
thick piece of flannel, or two folds of a thinner material, and 
rest the lower portion of the bird's body and vent on this 
for a space of fifteen or twenty minutes, taking care not to 
scald the patient during the operation. The best plan is to 
retain the bird in your hand, spreading your fingers wide 
apart to let the steam have as much play on the body aa 
possible, as it is from this that the benefit is chiefly derived; 
by adopting this method there is no danger of having 
the water too hot. The vent of the bird should likewise be 
oiled. A little scalded rape-seed and green food given for 
a few days prior to the bird's laying will generally prevent 
egg-binding. In bad cases I have found that half a tea- 
spoonful of whisky or brandy mixed with the drinking- 
water is of great service; it' acts as a gentle stimulant and 
revives the patient wonderfully. 

commence to lay, remove their eggs, one by one, until each 
hen has laid three, giving them instead a nest-egg, unless, 
as sometimes happens, though but very rarely, that a hen 
only lays two, in which case they must be given to her; 

66 The Canary Book. 

this is easily known if she fails to lay on the third morning. 
It sometimes happens, too, that a hen only lays one egg; 
under these circumstances I never permit her to sit, as it 
is a sign that the hen is not in really good condition, and 
hence the probability is that the egg will be fruitless, 
and it will be a waste of time to set her; in instances of this 
kind feed the birds liberally and give them plenty of 
fresh air which is an essential element at all times in 
bird-breeding. When a hen has laid three eggs she ought 
to be set. 

Before the brood of young are fit to be removed from 
the parental care, the hen begins to lay another batch of 
eggs, and the young birds frequently leave their own nest 
and go beside their mother. If the eggs are not removed 
as soon as laid, they are not infrequently fouled; in all such 
cases the eggs should be carefully removed and immersed 
in lukewarm water, the shells cleaned of the excrement 
and gently dried with a soft silk handkerchief or piece of 
fine linen rag. It is a somewhat delicate operation, requiring 
much care, or the eggs will get broken or damaged. Bird- 
fanciers should keep their finger-nails cut short during the 

NEST-EOKJS. The best kind of nest-eggs to use are those 
made of bone, wood, or ivory; but when these are not 
procurable take a few fruitless eggs, make a hole at each 
end of them, and blow out the contents. These answer 
very well. The wooden eggs are easily made with a pen- 
knife, a file, and a piece of sand-paper. 

INCUBATION. The period of incubation is usually fourteen 
days, although in hot weather hens have been known to 
hatch at the end of thirteen days, and others will sit fifteen 
days. At the end of four or five days blood vessels begin 
to form if the eggs are fruitful, and at the end of eight 
days they are quite opaque. This can be discovered by 
holding the eggs in a strong sunlight between the fore- 
finger and thumb. 

Breeding and Management. 

6 7 

PARENTAGE OF YOUNG BIRDS. Where a large number of 
birds are kept it is necessary to adopt a regular system, and 
make such arrangements as will prevent the possibility 
of a doubt as to the parentage of the young broods. In 


all cases it is necessary to keep a diary, and a "Stud Book" 
will be found very useful, especially to breeders of exhibition 

In the first place, number those cages which contain each 
pair of birds, consecutively small paper labels gummed on 
to the front of them will do aftor the birds have been 

F 2 

68 The Canary Book. 

placed in the cages ; it will be found advantageous to name 
them, or simply to call them number one, two, and so on, for 
distinction and future reference; keep a separate register of 
their pedigrees, &c., at least of those deserving of mention 
elsewhere. Having done this, make a box, say one-and-a-half 
to two inches deep, with as many divisions as there are pairs 
of birds; make each division from two to two-and-a-half 
inches square, and label them so as to correspond with the 
numbers upon the cages; in these compartments may be 
placed a quantity of bran or sawdust, and the eggs should 
be placed in them, small end downwards. See Fig. 44. 

SINGLE PAIRS: How TO MANAGE. If it is decided to 
breed the birds in single pairs, that is, a cock to each hen, 
then I would recommend the use of a "two-coupled" cage 
for each pair: remove the slide, and let the birds have 
the entire space to breed in. After the hen begins to 
sit, the cock may be left in, but it will then be necessary 
to observe him pretty closely; if he is very troublesome 
to the hen, or breaks an egg, close the slide at once, 
separating the cock from the hen. If, however, he conducts 
himself with becoming propriety during the process of incu- 
bation, he will, in all probability, do so afterwards, although I 
have known instances of cocks when too fresh destroying the 
progeny even after having fed them for several days; when 
this happens remove the male bird at once, and do not allow 
him to be placed beside the hen again until the young birds 
are at least three weeks old. Whenever a cock eats the eggs, 
the best cure for this very unnatural practice is to give him 
one or two eggs that have been sat upon for a fortnight, 
and have proved unfruitful; they are then rotten, and verr 
rarely fail to effect a cure, although, if too many are given 
they are apt to make a bird ill. 

The hen will, in all probability, have commenced to lay again 
at the end of three weeks; this, however much it might be 
regretted could not, under the circumstances, possibly be avoided, 
for if the cock is what may be termed a cannibal, there is no 
alternative for if he be placed beside the hen sooner he 

Breeding and Management. 69 

will assuredly kill the young birds; and even at the age of 
three weeks I have seen cocks of this nature attack them in 
a most savage manner. When I observe it I remove the 
cock at once, and merely run him beside the hen periodically 
say twice a day for one or two hours together usually in 
the morning and evening, which is the best time, until she 
has laid three eggs, when it is not necessary to do so longer. 
If the hen should lay before the cock is replaced, the eggs 
will, of course, be fruitless; but should the hen lay an egg 
when the young brood is, say, twenty-one days old, and the 
cock is put in at once, the third, fourth, and fifth eggs will 
be, as a rule, fruitful. In this case either the eggs must be 
given to another hen, or she must have two or three arti- 
ficial eggs for a few days to keep her sitting until it is 
certain that the young nestlings are able to feed themselves ; 
but unless a hen is a good sitter there is a danger in the 
latter plan of her forsaking her eggs ere she hatches, as by 
its adoption it causes her to sit much beyond the usual 
period of incubation, which is from thirteen to fourteen days, 
or in some rare instances even fifteen. If, however, the hen 
has laid, say, two eggs before it is discovered that she has 
done so, let her have her own way that is, let her lay her 
batch and sit as she pleases; she will, if a good mother, 
come off the nest and feed her young regularly until they 
can take care of themselves, but should she be observed 
sitting too closely, and neglecting her nestlings or fledgelings, 
remove the eggs and nest altogether. When the young birds 
are one month old there is no danger of losing them, and 
they may be confidently removed to a cage by themselves, 
taking care to place the food, &c. (egg and bread, fresh 
greens and water), so that they may be found readily. 

In Lancashire, bird-breeders take a piece of thin wood, 
about two inches broad, and fasten a narrow lath in front of 
it, and two pieces of wire to the back; with these wires they 
fasten it to the front of the cage opposite the door, inside, 
and place upon it a quantity of moist food, such as egg and 
biscuit moistened with water or milk. This is generally done 

70 The Canary Book. 

when the young birds are about three weeks old. It is con- 
sidered a good plan to get them to feed themselves early. 
In an ordinary way, that is when a cock has been removed 
from a hen either for being troublesome to her or for the 
purpose of pairing him to another hen, it is best to return 
him to her again (if she hatches) when the young birds are 
from seven to ten days old. He is sure to take to them at 
once (if not a cannibal) and assist the hen to rear them. As 
soon as the hen lays three eggs she may be set, and the 
nestlings can be left in the care of the cock, who will bring 
them up himself. If, on the other hand, the cock be not 
returned until the progeny are fourteen days old or upwards, 
it not unfrequently happens that he will not take to them at 
all, and I have known instances (though rare) where young 
birds have perished from this cause. In all cases where a 
cock is first returned to a hen with young ones, he ought to 
be watched, unless he is a tried and faithful servant ; but that 
must be so arranged as to enable them to be seen without 
their being able to see the watcher, or even to be aware of 
his presence, as that alone would deter them from acting in 
the way they would do in the absence of any one; and if a 
cock really will not feed them, then the plan hereinbefore 
mentioned must be adopted. 

HATCHING. When a hen is about to hatch, a supply of 
egg and bread and green food must be given her, and also a 
little linseed and maw-seed, or even hemp-seed, but very 
sparingly, a change of diet being beneficial to both the young 
and adult birds; this treatment ought to be continued until 
the young fledgelings are at least six weeks old, when they 
will be able to feed themselves with seed, which is much 
better for them. A few groats may be given to them at 
this time, which will be of great service, and care must be 
taken to clean the cages frequently and supply the birds 
liberally with sand and fine gravel. 

the course to be pursued in canary-breeding, I will proceed 

Breeding and Management. 71 

to enunciate the chief obstacles which are usually met 
with, more or less, by all breeders, and will endeavour to 
point out, so far as my own experience enables me, the best 
means of obviating and overcoming them. 

In the first place, it is necessary to take care that the 
birds are in robust and vigorous health, for, if they are not, 
disappointments often occur after they are paired. This is 
readily discovered by their movements. If a bird bounds 
briskly from perch to perch in a rapid and lively manner, 
and moves its wings quickly and almost incessantly with a 
sort of semi-flapping motion, it is a sure indication of good 
health and a sound and vigorous constitution : but if, on the 
other hand, it sits dull and mopish, or moves about in a 
listless and phlegmatic manner, it is a certain sign of ailment 
or delicacy of health, and I would strongly advise all breeders 
to discard such a bird, however good in quality, for stock 
purposes; as, although birds may be reared from parents 
slightly affected with asthma, consumption, and similar dis- 
eases, the progeny are never really healthy nor satisfactory, 
and great difficulties are experienced in endeavouring to rear 
them; besides, they very frequently die during the process 
of moulting, even if they are reared thus far. 

UNHEALTHY BIRDS. Never put a sound bird with an un- 
healthy one, or it will be found, in most cases, that in a 
short time the sound bird becomes affected in like manner. 

BIRDS OUT OF CONDITION. I must likewise impress upon 
breeders the necessity of thoroughly satisfying themselves 
that both birds are in fine form before they are placed 
together in the breeding-cage, for if the male be fresher 
than the female he will most assuredly proceed to ill-treat 
her, and vice versa. This is an essential point that is too 
frequently neglected by beginners. 

recommend all fanciers to breed from the best strains that 
can be procured if they desire to breed birds for the purpose 
of exhibition, as it is merely a matter of outlay in the first 

72 The Canary Book. 

instance. High-bred birds do not cost any more to keep than 
common birds, and with careful and judicious management they 
are nearly as easy to rear ; and the pleasure to be derived from 
breeding prize birds is immeasurably greater than breeding 
what may be termed mere cage- or aviary-birds, although, 
be it remembered, prize birds are, as a matter of course, rare 
and exceptional, even from the best blood procurable. It is, 
nevertheless, a well-authenticated fact that they cannot be 
produced without the proper material. It is an old saying, 
and a true one, that "like produces like," and this observa- 
tion holds good with birds as well as with horses, dogs, &c. 

There is no doubt that a great deal depends upon the birds 
being properly matched for future results, in addition to 
being well bred. See chapters on the different varieties. 

TOTING HENS TO BREED FBOM. It is best to breed from 
young hens (first year) and cocks from two to three years 
old, providing they are strong, healthy birds, as young hens 
are generally more vigorous than old ones, and hence produce 
hardier and better young ones. I never care to breed with a 
hen more than three seasons, and a cock, four. The principal 
objection to young cocks that is to say, one-year-old 
birds is that they are generally too ardent, and consequently 
prove mischievous and troublesome; besides, a cock that has 
bred a season or two, if a good parent, teaches the young 
mother her duties towards her newly-hatched nestlings. I 
have seen an old-experienced cock, the moment he observed a 
hen hatch an egg, go direct to the feeding-trough, and, having 
procured a supply of food, hasten back to the hen and com- 
mence to disgorge the contents of his crop into her upturned 
beak. Having given her a portion of the food he brought, 
his next anxiety was to get access to the newly-hatched 
brood; and it was both amusing and interesting to observe 
the various devices and mano3uvres he used to induce the fond 
and vigilant mother to permit him to give the remaining 
portion to her newly-hatched little "birdies." 

Of course, there are some mothers which rise instinctively 
as soon as their partners have supplied them with provender, 

Breeding and Management. 73 

and commence without ceremony to administer it to the small 
objects that have just been ushered into being; but many 
hens act with a watchful jealousy towards their first charge, 
and prefer taking the opportunity of feeding their young 
when the cocks, after having vainly endeavoured to coax them 
to gratify their humour, have returned to the egg- trough for 
a further supply of food. Cocks of this sort are always 
good parents, and valuable on this account ; but there are 
others who pay very little attention to the domestic pursuit of 
assisting to rear their young, and permit the hens to use their 
own pleasure in the matter entirely. I always look upon this 
conduct as a bad omen BO far as a cock bird is concerned, 
and, unless a hen is naturally a good mother, there is con- 
siderable danger of losing the progeny, especially if she be of 
a jealous and sulky nature. Whenever I notice this dispo- 
sition I remove the male bird at once as all such hens feed 
much better without them for a week or ten days, by which 
time the hen loses this feeling of jealousy to a considerable 
extent, and there is a very slender probability, if they have 
been hitherto well cared for, of losing the young after this 
period, and therefore I then return the cock with confidence. 

When a cock and hen are found to agree, the best plan is 
to leave them together during the process of incubation and 
afterwards, providing the cock does not interfere with the 
newly-hatched birds. Some cocks destroy them as soon as they 
are hatched; such birds ought to be removed as soon as the 
hen is set, and not returned until the young birds are at least 
fourteen days old from that to three weeks; if he interferes 
with them at that age, that is, if he commences to pluck 
and otherwise ill-treat them, do not leave him with the hen 
for any length of time; he may be run beside her for about 
an hour, and then removed until it is convenient to repeat 
the operation. After he has paired with the hen two or three 
times, it is not necessary to renew the connection. A bath 
may be given to a hen during incubation twice or thrice a 
week during hot weather. 

74 The Canary Book. 

at this time will be found of great service. Some hens, 
although good and attentive mothers, sit too closely upon their 
nestlings, especially in hot weather, and overheat them to such 
a degree as to prevent their thriving, or, to use a common 
aphorism among fanciers, " sweat them to death." In cases 
of this kind take one or two pieces of stick, cut very thin 
and round common lucifer matches with the brimstone ends 
broken off will answer the purpose and place them firmly across 
the nest, pretty closely together, and as near the young birds 
as possible without touching them ; this will keep the hen 
from getting too closely upon them, and consequently prevent 
her "sweating" them. But as the birds grow, fresh pieces of 
wood will be needed, and they must be removed accordingly, 
say, every two days, until the nestlings are about eight or 
ten days old, when it will not be necessary to continue it 
any longer. 

Canary hens sweat their young from various causes, but, I 
think, mostly from over-affection. In some cases, no doubt, 
hens that are not over strong naturally become weakened 
during the process of incubation, they get exhausted, and 
become inert. In such cases provide a basket-nest to let in 
air freely, and give plenty of moss to build their nest with, 
as it absorbs moisture, and not too much hair to line it with, 
as it creates heat. These are the best preventives against 
this unfortunate practice, which greatly weakens the progeny 
and prevents the growth of the feathers, and often causes 
the young birds to be weakly. It is one of the most diffi- 
cult problems that a fancier has to deal with. Sweating-hens 
should be placed in a cool part of the room where the direct 
rays of the sun cannot reach them, a small glass vessel 
should be placed inside the cage, to be used as a bath, and 
water in which a small piece of alum or borax or a tea- 
spoonful of salt has been dissolved may be put in this vessel 
for the purpose named, and given fresh every morning; if 
a hen can be induced to use it it will be found very 

Breeding and Management. 75 

A sweating - hen should always be supplied with a large 
nest; if a wooden box be used the bottom should be covered 
with perforated zinc. I have often thought that a nest made 
entirely of open wire work a sort of skeleton frame covered 
with some thin material inside would be very advantageous 
in such cases; but whatever might be used for a lining it 
would have to be light and porous, such as muslin or 
calico, and would to a great extent obviate this serious 
difficulty, for young birds which are exceedingly sweated are 
much weakened and rarely feather properly. 

When the young birds are from twelve to fourteen days 
old, the hen will be desirous of going to nest again; she 
must, therefore, have another nest given to her for this pur- 
pose, and likewise a little moss, or material of this kind, to 
build with; for although a hen may have a well-made arti- 
ficial nest, she has the instinctive desire to build one herself; 
and during the period of pairing she will work assiduously in 
carrying the material to and from the nest. Nevertheless, 
she often throws it all out just before she lays; but if she 
bas not something to build with she not unfrequently pro- 
ceeds to pluck her progeny, and when hens once commence 
this vicious practice they seldom forget it. At such times 
I have seen hens pluck their young brood to such an extent 
(when the above rules have been neglected) as scarcely to 
leave a feather upon them, and I have seen the poor nude, 
miserable, semi-devoured wretches so horrified at their brutal 
and unnatural parents that hunger alone could induce them 
to approach the parent birds. 

PLUCKING OF YOUNG. Prevention is better than cure, and 
the means above recommended will be found to answer in 
nineteen cases out of twenty. When they do not, place the 
young birds in an open wire cage, and tie it on the front of 
the breeding-cage where the parents are; bend the wires back 
a little, here and there, in both cages, taking care that the 
corresponding wires are bent and placed opposite each other 
before the cage containing the young birds is secured, so as 

76 The Canary Book. 

to allow them to get their heads through. The parents will 
feed them in this way. 

SELECTION OP BREEDING-PLACE. It very often happens 
that a hen wishes to build in the same part of the breeding- 
cage as she reared her first brood, and will commence to peck 
at her half-fledged nestlings long before they are ready to 
leave the nest, in order that she may force them to give up 
possession of it to her for her further convenience. When 
this is observed, remove the nest containing the young to 
another part of the cage, and put the new nest in the place 
thus vacated. 

SCREW-NAILS FOR TIN NESTS. Before I commence to use 
a cage for breeding I always put three screw-nails into each 
one in the centre and one on each side of the two perches 
(outside), or at each end so that it is an easy matter to re- 
move the nest from one nail to another. This little device is 
generally successful. 

found in some rare instances that under no circumstances 
can a hen be induced to feed her young. This arises mostly 
from bad health, a sulky disposition, or a very nervous 
temperament. If from ill-health there is no remedy ; if from 
the other causes named they can, to a certain extent, be 
overcome and sometimes entirely cured. Speak kindly to such 
hens whenever you have occasion to go near them, and 
always address them by the names you have given them; 
they will soon get accustomed to, and know them. Treat 
them gently, and try to gain their confidence. If they are 
very wild or intractable remove their food and water for four 
or six hours, beginning in the morning. "When these are 
replaced remain close by as close to the cage as you can 
get: if they still appear timid and nervous, and refuse to 
come near, remove the food, &c., for two hours longer, then 
replace them again, acting as before, and continue this treat- 
ment at short intervals until the birds are tamed. In time 
they will l^arn to know their master, and will not exhibit 

Breeding and Management* 77 

any signs of fear; by such treatment I have known hens 
that refused to feed their first brood ultimately become good 

FIRST BROOD. Do not part with a hen simply because she 
fails to rear her first brood always give her another chance; 
for it sometimes happens that the fault is not hers ; the young 
birds may be weak and puny, and consequently too delicate 
to rear. I have known hens prove bad mothers one year and 
good ones the next. 

DELICATE HEALTH. Other hens, again, I have known to 
rear their first nest, and let the next die. This, as a rule, 
will be found to proceed from a delicate constitution; the hen 
becomes weakly and enfeebled by breeding, and, falling into 
a bad state of health, becomes listless, and hence lets her 
progeny die for want of strength and energy to feed them 
sufficiently. Give such hens a rest, feed them liberally, and 
try to induce them to bathe. 

HAND -FEEDING. Some hens refuse to feed their progeny, 
and others feed so sparsely as to need assistance. In such 
cases hand-feeding is necessary if you have no foster-mother 
at hand, but unless the birds are valuable, or you desire to 
show forth as a philanthropist, it is scarcely worth the 
amount of trouble and sacrifice of time that is needed to 
rear them. The instrument to be used for this purpose should 
be a quill, abstracted from the wing of a goose, duck, or 
fowl, and cut in the shape of a pen nib; or you may use a 
piece of stick or wood similarly cut. The birds should be fed 
at first about every forty minutes, after four days old every 
hour to the sixth or seventh day, after that a further interval 
of half -an-hour more may ensue up to ten days ; after they 
reach this age feed every two hours, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Prepare the food in the following manner : Grind some arrow- 
root oiscuits to fine powder in a mortar, mix well with 
the yolk of a hard-boiled egg, and moisten with warm water 
to the consistency of Devonshire cream or cream cheese. When 
the birds reach the age of six or seven days, a little finely- 

78 The Canary Book. 

ground German rape-seed may be added ; this should be ground 
in a fine-set coffee-mill, and passed through a hair sieve before 
using. In all cases the food should be given warm. At the 
age of ten days you may give a little seed in addition to the 
food recommended. When the birds reach the age of twenty, 
three or twenty-four days they should be able to feed them- 
selves, and you may then substitute the ordinary egg food, 
giving in addition a few lettuce-leaves, or a piece of ripe 
chickweed or groundsel. When five weeks old they will be 
able to crack seed, a supply of which should be provided for 
their use. 

FOSTER-MOTHERS. Fanciers who keep a large number of 
high-class birds will find it necessary to keep a few common 
canary hens as nurses. Endeavour to get them to begin to 
breed at or near the same time as the hens whose eggs or 
young ones it may be desirable for them to have ; so that, in 
the event of a high-class hen failing to feed her own progeny 
sufficiently, they can be transferred to one of these nurses. 
Where there are only one or two young ones they can some- 
times be given to other known good mothers who happen to 
have offspring about the same time. 

In cases of emergency, and when highly bred, I have 
given newly-hatched young to other hens which have only 
been set from two to five days well tried feeders and they 
have in all cases reared them. In one instance, where a 
hen had only sat two days, I removed her eggs and gave her 
a nest of birds a few days old to rear; at first she was 
greatly puzzled and mystified, and appeared in great doubt 
how to act; she remained off the nest for several minutes, 
going occasionally to inspect the contents, and evidently 
trying to account for the sudden and unexpected transfor- 
mation, but after the lapse of nearly a-quarter-of-an-hour 
she settled down upon them quietly and reared them satis- 

DIFFERENCE IN AGES. There ought never to be more than 
two or three days' difference in their ages, or the stronger 

Breeding and Management. 79 

and older birds will get all the nourishment from the mother, 
and ultimately may trample the younger and weaker birds 
to death. 

DISTINGUISHING MARKS. If the young ones transferred 
should be of the same variety as those they are placed be- 
side, and so young as riot to be distinguishable, then it will 
be necessary to put a mark upon them whereby they can 
be recognised such, for instance, as tying a piece of coloured 
silk loosely, but in such a manner as to prevent its coming 
off, round one of their legs, so that it can be readily removed 
when the birds are feathered. 

A SOLITARY NESTLING. One young bird is more difficult 
for a hen to rear than a nestful; at the same time, I prefer 
giving her an opportunity of doing so, otherwise she might 
be spoilt for the rest of the season. If, however, it is seen 
that there is but a meagre chance of its being brought up, 
and there are other reliable hens with broods about the same 
age, it will be better to transfer it to one of those than allow 
it to die. 

WEANING YOUNG BIRDS. After the young birds are re- 
moved from their parents, and they are able to feed them- 
selves, continue to give them egg and bread and green food 
until they are at least six or seven weeks old, or even longer 
as too sudden a change of food is very frequently attended 
with bad results, and engenders ailments which sometimes 
prove fatal ; but I do not mean that the full allowances should 
be given after they attain the age of six weeks, as they can 
crack seed pretty well before this time. Gradually leave off 
giving so much egg. After they attain this age, I generally 
give them the leavings of the other birds, provided they are 
fresh and wholesome; and this, especially if it has stood 
over-night and gets rather dry, weans them from it better than 
anything, and is not attended with bad results. 

LIME AND SAND. Fresh water and perfect cleanliness, 
as well as fresh air and a liberal supply of sand, or fine 

8o The Canary Book. 

gravel, are essentials in bird-breeding. A little old lime 
may be given occasionally; but if a plentiful supply of sand 
is given it is not really necessary. I never give my birds 
old lime nothing but sand gathered from the sea-shore and 
yet I never have a shelless egg, commonly known as a " wind 
egg." Where sea-sand cannot be procured, freestone bruised 
small will answer the same purpose, and a little strong 
salt water, made artificially, and thrown over it, will be found 
to make a good substitute. 

desirable to clean the feet of birds and cut their claws before 
they are placed in the breeding-cage. If this be not done, 
hens with dirt adhering in little hard knots to their feet, or 
with long overgrown claws, are very apt to indent their eggs 
whilst turning them a necessary process during incubation 
and if the abrasion admits the air, the egg is spoilt in con- 
sequence. I remember a case, however, where an egg was 
accidentally damaged and a piece of transparent plaster was 
put over the bruised part very neatly; the egg was 
hatched, but this was a case where the egg had not been 
previously sat upon. I do not think it would have succeeded 
under other circumstances; at least, I have never found it so 
during my experience. Get a pair of sharp scissors and have 
some tolerably warm water in a suitable vessel at hand a 
teacup or even a saucer would answer the purpose ; take hold 
of the bird gently, but with sufficient firmness to prevent it 
escaping, hold it on its back, and place the leg you intend to 
perform upon between your fingers as to avoid any involuntary 
action at the moment you are about to operate upon its 
claws. If you can, cut them clean through with one cut, 
about the centre of the curve of each claw; be careful not 
to take too much off them or you will cut them into the quick 
and run the risk of laming the bird. After this operation is 
completed, immerse the feet in warm water, wash them properly, 
and dry with a soft cloth. Sometimes the bill, too, gets over- 
grown and has to be cut ; this is a somewhat delicate opera- 
tion, and requires considerable skill and care in its performance. 

Breeding and Management. 81 

The scissors used for this purpose must be very sharp. 
Placing a little may-shell, or even a knob of loaf sugar 
occasionally in the wires of the cage for the birds to peck at 
will prevent any overgrowth in this direction. 

UNFRUITFUL EGGS. This untoward event sometimes pro- 
ceeds from totally different causes. It may happen through 
a male bird having lost a hind claw, or even through his 
having sore and tender feet, bnt not frequently so. It is 
usually caused through one or other of the birds not being 
in robust and vigorous health, frequently from ailments con- 
tracted during the process of moulting. Thus it will occasionally 
be found that a bird is prolific one year and have no produce 
the next; this almost invariably results from a bad or very 
late moult. But as I purpose to treat more fully on this 
subject under the head of "Moulting," I will not notice it 
further at present. 

BARREN HENS. I have known instances of young hens 
failing to breed the first year, but amply rewarding their 
owners the following season. This, however, is a very rare 
occurrence. There are other hens which are permanently 
barren. This results chiefly from old age, although an 
unsatisfactory moult will sometimes produce it. These hens 
go to nest with all the regularity of a prolific hen, and gene- 
rally make excellent foster-mothers, sitting eggs and rearing 
young birds with great care, attention, and regularity, and 
they are sometimes found valuable to an extensive breeder. 

SINGING- HENS. I have known hens, though not many, com- 
mence to sing like cocks, and with such gusto and vehemence 
that no one but a thoroughly practical and experienced fan- 
cier could possibly discover the sexes by their song. These 
hens, when put up to breed, almost invariably proceed to 
destroy their eggs or progeny, and are known among fanciers 
as "unnatural mothers." My advice to breeders is never to 
try them. I remember a friend who once had a hen of this 
description for a great number of years, but I never could 
persuade him that it was a hen until one day it laid an egg 

82 The Canary Book. 

at the bottom of its cage, and immediately gave up the 
ghost. He always contended that it was one of the best 
singing-canaries he ever heard, and as a cock it was regarded 
by all his acquaintances and friends who were not adepts in 
the "fancy." 

IRREGULARLY LAYING-HENS. Some hens lay an egg and 
then miss two or three or more days ere they lay another. 
This is very often attributable to putting a hen up to breed 
too early in the spring; the cold seizes her as the eggs are 
"coming upon her" to use bird phraseology but, to speak 
more correctly, maturing within her, and completely disorga- 
nises her system. It may likewise proceed from age or a 
delicate constitution, but from the first-named cause much 
more frequently. When a hen once goes wrong during the 
breeding-season she cannot be relied upon afterwards for 
that season, at all events. 

SECOND AND OTHER BROODS. After a hen rears her first 
brood she sometimes gets her feet completely clogged with 
dirt. When this is the case, take care to clean them properly 
before she is re-set; remove the young birds to another cage 
properly prepared for them, as previously pointed out, clean 
out' the cage in which she is breeding, strew it liberally with 
sand, and take care to give her a clean nest. If the cock is 
with the young birds, and feeding them, they may be 
removed as soon as the hen has laid her third egg ; otherwise, 
not until they are twenty-eight days old, as they cannot feed 
themselves properly before they attain that age. 

happens that a hen throws one of her newly-hatched birds 
out of the nest. If a cock is with her, and it is not discovered 
immediately, he will most assuredly mutilate it. When the 
hen is by herself it is rarely molested, and mostly found 
where it had the misfortune to fall. It is astonishing how 
long they will live in this way, especially in warm weather. 
When a young bird is found in this predicament, and to all 
outward appearance dead, lift it as gently as you can, place 

Breeding and Management. 83 

it in the palm of your hand, partially close it, and commence 
to breathe upon it as vigorously as possible, and as long as 
you conveniently can do so without ceasing. Persevere for 
some time, and you will succeed in ninety-five cases in every 
hundred in restoring animation. As soon as you observe such 
symptoms of life as convince you that there is a reasonable 
chance of its recovery, return it to the nest ; the warmth of its 
mother will soon restore it to its wonted appearance. Never 
put a bird found in this way beside a hot fire, or in most 
cases it will succumb. I presume the excessive heat affects 
the brain, and likewise prevents the lungs which must have 
nearly collapsed from exercising their proper functions freely. 

BREEDING BELGIANS. Of all the varieties of the Fringilla 
canaria family, probably the most tender, and consequently 
the most difficult to rear, are those known among fanciers as 
pure Belgians. It is not at all an uncommon occurrence to 
find newly-hatched young birds of this variety so weak and 
delicate that they have not sufficient strength to hold up 
their heads, so as to enable the parent birds to administer 
to their pressing necessities. I have been greatly interested, 
and sometimes astonished, whilst watching (through an aper- 
ture in the door of my bird-breeding room) a thoroughly 
reliable good-feeding hen endeavouring to give food to dimi- 
nutive objects of this species. I have seen her exert her 
utmost ingenuity and skill in her anxious endeavours to 
assist them to obtain the succour which she instinctively knew 
they required. I have watched her single the young birds out 
and place them separately in turns under her in such a posi- 
tion as to yield them support by her legs ; and, failing in this 
manoeuvre, she has tried to feed them by resting on her side, 
half buried in the nest, as their little heads and slender necks 
were bobbing from side to side, but without avail. 

When there are young birds of this description, it will be 
advisable to render them some assistance until they are suffi- 
ciently strong to receive nutriment from the hen in a proper 
manner. The method I have found to answer best is to give 
them the yolk of a moderately hard-boiled egg boiled, say, 

84 The Canary Book. 

for five minutes and allowed to cool mixed with a small 
quantity of finely-grated biscuit (pic-nics answer very well, but 
any kind of biscuits containing sugar will do equally well) 
moistened with a little water to soften it, and stirred well 
together with the point of a knife to a thin consistency. Get 
a quill and cut it in form similar to a pen, only not quite so 
sharp at the point; hold the young bird in the left hand in 
such a manner as to render the most support to its head and 
neck, and proceed to feed it with the above food. Give a 
small portion at first, which may be gradually increased daily. 
This operation should be repeated every fifteen or twenty 
minutes, from daylight to dusk in the evening. When the 
birds are three days old they ought to be able to receive food 
from their parents without further assistance ; if not, there 
is but a slender chance of their being reared. The great 
objection to this mode of treatment is the danger there is of 
making a hen jealous, which would prevent her from feeding 
them when they are ready for her attentions. Nevertheless, 
it is the only chance they have, and they are sure to perish 
without artificial aid. If any one should be induced to con- 
tinue this process until the birds are sufficiently matured to 
feed themselves, I can only say that his perseverance will 
merit any reward that the birds are likely to bestow, however 
good they may ultimately turn out to be. Of course, in such 
an event a little seed would be required with the egg and 
biscuit after the birds are six days old; and it would be 
necessary to have it thoroughly well crushed and the husks 
removed a pestle and mortar, which has been previously well 
washed and dried, or even a paste pin, in an emergency, 
would do for this purpose. Canary-seed answers best, and 
occasionally a few groats and a little maw-seed may be added, 
or hemp-seed sparingly. As the birds advance in size they 
will not need to be fed so often, but regularly, and at intervals 
of, say, fifteen, twenty, five-and-twenty, and thirty minutes. 

AVIARY BREEDING. Breeding birds in aviaries and in 
rooms without cages is a pastime enjoyed by some people, and 
answers very well for dealers who breed for profit, or for 

Breeding and Management. 85 

amateurs who merely breed birds to sing ; this latter 
accomplishment being considered by everyone who is not 
initiated in the knowledge and mysteries of the " fancy " as 
the great sine qua non of bird-breeding; whereas to a real 
fancier the song of a bird is quite an after consideration 
size, shape, contour, colour, feather markings, crest, &c., are 
the grand points in his estimation, according to the different 
varieties of the birds. He wants birds to show, not to sing; 
and, therefore, unless they come up to the standard of " show 
birds'* they are of little value to him except as breeding 
stock, if the strain be reliable and well known. 

In aviary breeding a dozen hens with three cocks will, 
with moderately good luck, produce a great number of young 
birds ; as in cases of this kind they pair promiscuously. 
Sometimes the cocks assist in feeding the young birds, but 
not always. Branches of trees or shrubs may be placed in 
the room or aviary, or artificial nests may be hung here 
and there. If branches of trees be used, they should be cut 
from large evergreens, such as holly or laurel, or pine boughs 
(Pinus pinea, Linn.), which should be cut in January or 
February, as they will not then shed their leaves, and placed 
in large flower-pots or small tubs, filled with earth and made 
firm. If real trees or shrubs be used the birds will pluck 
and destroy them. They prefer the orange tree to all others 
to build their nests in. One great drawback to this plan of 
breeding is that two or more hens are apt to select the 
same spot in which to make their nests, and a brisk conflict 
is the result. As soon as one hen commences to build, the 
other will pull out the material, and then a warfare is begun 
which is not easily quelled. First one hen is master of the 
situation, and then the other, and it is astonishing to witness 
the pertinacity which they display on such occasions. I have 
known a hen make a nest, and as soon as she has finished 
it another hen has gone and taken forcible possession of it 
In all such cases war, and "war to the knife," is certain, 
and very often a hen's full complement of eggs is broken in 
the affray 

86 The Canary Book. 

To attempt to breed different varieties, such as Lizards, 
Cinnamons, London Fancy, Norwich Fancy, &c., mixed up in 
an aviary, is simply a waste of time; and even suppose one 
variety only was bred, and there were a few pairs together, 
you could not rely upon the parentage of the birds. The 
only satisfactory method of breeding birds for exhibition is 
to breed them in separate cages. 

BIRD ROOM : ASPECT, HEATING, &c. "Where space is not an 
object, it will be found advantageous to keep a room entirely 
for the purpose of bird-breeding. One with a southerly or 
south-western aspect is the best ; but this is not an essential 
consideration, as any situation will do. The more retired it 
is the better the birds will like it, as they prefer quietude 
at that season. If it can be warmed during the winter by 
artificial means, such as hot-water pipes, or by passing a 
sheet-iron stove-pipe through it, heated from outside, it will 
be very desirable to do so. A coke stove, with hot-air pipes 
attached and suitably arranged, is a good method of heating 
a bird room, or an open fire-grate may be used during the 
day and allowed to go out during the night time without 
causing any ill effect to the birds. Some people use oil stoves, 
and others gas stoves, but none of these are satisfactory, 
and are at all times attended with great risk and danger, 
and are besides extremely unhealthy. There are a great many 
contrivances, but the coke stove and hot-air or water pipes 
are the simplest and best, and next to these I prefer an 
open grate, or a covered-in stove with an Sin. stove pipe 
carried into a chimney, the stove being placed as nearly as 
convenient to the centre of the room. Under no circum- 
stances would I advise the use of gas, as it is very perni- 
cious in its effects on the constitutions of birds, and will 
set them into the moult in an incredibly short space of time. 
If the room is quite dry, and situated in an inhabited house, 
no fire is absolutely necessary, but during frosty nights the 
cages should be closely covered with quilts, shawls, or rugs. 
If the water freezes it will cause no harm, but should be 
thawed in the morning, and again during the day if necessary. 






Breeding and Management. 87 

We have known birds under such circumstances nibble the 
ice, and thereby allay their thirst. Most canaries, except 
Belgians, can endure an immense amount of cold. 

DETACHED BIRD HOUSE. I have had a bird-house built at 
the rear of my dwelling-house (see Plate). It is a semi- 
detached building ; I had it constructed specially for birds and 
plants. It faces west and south; on the north it adjoins 
another building which acts as a shelter for it. It is 10ft. 
high .at the back, 12ft. long, 7ft. wide, and 7ft. 4in. high at 
the front. It faces due west, and the end the south. At 
this end and in front is a wall 3ft. Sin. in height, and above 
this to the roof is framed woodwork, glazed in long narrow 
stripes like an ordinary greenhouse. The whole of the front 
is made in sashes and hung on hinges, which can be opened 
for ventilation when required. The south end is also framed, 
with a framed and panelled door in the centre, the upper 
half of which is glass. The front and south end are shelved 
for plants, and the back and a recess at the north end are 
also shelved with llin. boards for the breeding-cages. The 
shelves at the back are supported by wooden trestles fixed 
to the wall in five rows, the first being only lOin. from the 
ground. It is built like a room, and has a step, 7in. in 
height from the ground, leading into it; the floor is formed 
of Gin. buff-and-red tiles laid obtusely or anglewise, to resemble 
oilcloth in the pattern, on a 4in. bed of concrete. The walls 
are all plastered and coloured dove colour, with fixed colours. 
The roof is lathed and plastered to form a ceiling, and in 
the centre is a framed sky-light, 24in. by 18in., which opens 
when needed for ventilation. In addition to this I have a 
small iron ventilator inserted in the brickwork, which closes 
with a slide. At the north end is a properly-constructed 
chimney with a registered fire grate, and a mantle-piece; and 
the whole room is skirted round with a 7in. moulded skirting. 
This being a separate building, it is necessary, in cold, damp, 
and frosty weather, to have a little fire in it, and in order 
to prevent it getting overheated I have a contrivance to cover 
the whole of the open space above the bars, and so constructed 

88 The Canary Book. 

as to fit round the moulding of the grate to prevent smoke 
coming out during adverse winds. It has a large steel knob 
in the centre to lift it by. At the top, on the inside, is a 
piece of iron like a square hook which goes inside the grate 
to prevent it being blown forward, and it is fixed on the 
bars by another hook at the bottom; it is made of sheet- 
iron; this instrument acts as a "blower/' and makes the 
fire burn well, but it also consumes the coals rapidly, and 
requires frequent attention. I can regulate the heat in cold 
weather to about 45deg., and in moderate weather to 50deg. 
or 55deg. ; however, Gin. hot- water pipes with a No. 2 com- 
bustion stove would be more satisfactory, but in a circumscribed 
place this is out of the question. I only breed birds for my 
own gratification, amusement, experiment, and study, not for 
profit, hence I never put up more than about twelve pairs 
of birds. Besides this house, I have an aviary in which I 
can turn my young birds that are to be used for breeding 
purposes only. The house is very light in appearance, and 
the birds thrive in it splendidly. It is painted white outside 
and French- white inside, excepting the shelving, which is dark 
stone colour. 

The roof is slated and spouted, in all respects like an 
ordinary dwelling. I have the town water laid on, which I 
find very convenient. Anyone who has sufficient ground space, 
and as much as 25 to spare, I would recommend to have 
a house of this sort. I must not omit to mention that I 
have a wood-and-wire frame for the centre window and the 
sky-light, which is all that is necessary to be opened, and 
in hot weather I shade the front with calico coverings. 

Birds create a great deal of dirt, and fanciers who happen 
to be blest with wives of cleanly habits, fastidious tastes, and 
pungent tempers, are not generally without a knowledge of this 
sublime fact. Besides, most fanciers have friends who are 
also fanciers, and consequently frequent visitors, especially in 
wet weather, when they cannot very well spend their time in 
out-of-door pursuits elsewhere, and they as well as the birda 
make dirt. A house such as I have described obviates this. 

Breeding and Management. 89 

Another consideration is that bird-rooms, wherever situated, 
are harbours for moths, who patronise them very extensively, 
and enjoy their precincts exceedingly. 

LATE BREEDING. Cease breeding as soon after the middle 
of August as possible, or even earlier ; for when that advanced 
period of the year has arrived it is quite time the old birds 
were commencing to moult; late moulting is exceedingly ob- 
jectionable, and very detrimental to the health of birds, and 
ought, therefore, by all means to be avoided. "When any of 
my hens lay after the 10th of August I never permit them to 
sit. I throw their eggs out, and as soon as their last broods 
can cater for themselves I remove the mothers into a large 
flight cage or aviary; but before doing so I pull their tails 
out, which appears to encourage or promote the process of 
moulting. If the hens commence to breed in the early part 
of April as they ought to do, if in blooming health and 
condition or even, sometimes, at the latter end of March, 
there is ample time to obtain four nests of eggs from each 
hen, which is quite as many as it is prudent to take in one 
season. For a hen to lay too much is weakening and injurious 
to her constitution, thereby paving the way for disorder, which 
is almost the inevitable result. Ailments thus engendered, and 
not discovered until too late, are frequently attributed to the 
moult, whereas the weakness caused by excessive laying is so 
enfeebling that the constitution is completely undermined, 
and the moult which is at all times an eventful period in 
the life of a bird establishes the activity of disease. 

INCUBATION. There are probably few subjects less under, 
stood that is, from a scientific point of view than incubation. 
The reason of this arises from a variety of causes, one of which, 
doubtless, is that few fanciers care to destroy a fertile egg, 
as there is a feeling that it might develop into a prodigy. 
Much that is valuable and interesting might be learnt from 
a few careful experiments. 

I have experimentalised a little in this direction, and have 
discovered that eggs can be removed the day prior to that 

90 The Canary Book. 

on which they are due to be hatched, and left totally un- 
protected for a period of six hours in warm weather, and 
even a much longer time, and if again replaced under the 
hen, they will be hatched, and the chicks survive. I have 
likewise found that eggs which have been sat upon for a 
period of two days may be removed for a corresponding 
period, and afterwards returned to the nest without injury 
to them; but, as a matter of course, they must be sat upon 
the full time i.e., thirteen days before they will hatch. 
These facts are worth knowing, and it would be well if fanciers 
would make sacrifices by way of experiment occasionally, and 
give the results of their labours for the edification and en- 
lightenment of their brother fanciers. Eggs have been known 
to be hatched that have been kept for a period of eight days 
before being set, and it is quite possible that eggs kept even 
for a period of twelve days might prove fruitful. 



AMONG the many pleasures to be derived by bird-fanciers from 
breeding birds, there is none which affords such an amount of 
pleasure, instruction, and amusement, as mule breeding ; that is, 
provided good specimens of the hybrids are obtained. Herein 
lies the difficulty, but when once it has been surmounted, a full 
reward for all past labours, perseverance, and patience is 

UNCERTAINTIES OP MULE BREEDING. It is a well-known fact 
that many men have bred mules for a great number of years, 
between the goldfinch and the canary, and likewise between the 
linnet (Fringilla Linota, Linn.) commonly known as the grey or 
brown linnet and canary, and have never once succeeded in 
producing a single specimen worth 5s. ; whilst others, who have 
only been recognised as "fanciers" but a short time, compara- 
tively speaking, have managed to obtain birds worth as many 
pounds sterling each, and no doubt a great deal of this success 
depends upon intelligence and observation. 

GOOD MULES. Up to within a very recent period, any fancier 
who happened to produce a good specimen of a lightly-marked 
mule was looked upon as either an exceedingly fortunate indi- 
vidual, or a man that really knew something a sort of seer 
in " birdology." No doubt, solitary instances are on record of 
persons having bred a good specimen, as it were by mere accident, 
that is, at a first attempt ; whilst others, as I have before stated, 

92 The Canary Book. 

have bred mules for many years or, as I have frequently heard it 
expressed, "all their lives," and never were fortunate enough 
to "get anything worth looking at." 

great many theories in vogue as to how good mules are produced, 
especially goldfinch mules ; and I have heard fanciers express a 
very decided opinion to the effect that it was attributable to 
breeding with a particular kind of goldfinch, whilst others as 
implicitly believe that the description of the finch has nothing 
whatever to do with the result. One thing, however, is pretty 
certain, and that is, that when a hen has been found to breed 
pied mules with regularity, her offspring may be relied upon, as 
a rule, to do the same thing. This being an established fact, 
any man who is in possession of a well-known hen of this 
description is almost certain to be besieged with applications for 
young hens bred from her ; and fabulous prices have occasionally 
been paid for them. Fanciers who are in possession of the 
genuine type of birds for producing prize mules can seldom be 
induced to part with them, and I have known what I should 
consider most tempting offers to purchase blankly refused. 

All those who are genuine admirers of our feathered favourites, 
and have been in any way associated with the " fancy " during 
the last twenty-five or thirty years, must have a vivid recollection 
of the names of some of our most famous mule breeders. I refer 
to breeders of birds which have obtained great celebrity, such 
as Lenny Moore, Tempest, Robson, Brent, and many others, and 
not the mere exhibitors ; as it is now notorious that a number of 
our largest and most successful exhibitors very rarely breed 
a single specimen of the birds they show, they being simply 
the purchasers, and, consequently the possessors of the birds. 
Of course, there are some exceptions, but this rule applies 
pretty generally. 

breed mules, my advice is, confine yourself to those obtained 
between the goldfinch and canary, linnet and canary, or goldfinch 
and bullfinch, as they are best calculated to reward you 

Mule Breeding. 93 

pecuniarily for the trials and disappointments which are almost 
certain to beset you at the beginning ; but you must persevere, 
and if my instructions are strictly followed, I have every 
confidence that your labours will terminate satisfactorily. 
Other kinds of mules can be obtained, such as siskin and 
canary, bullfinch and greenfinch, &c., but of these I will treat 
more particularly under their respective headings. 

The goldfinch and canary undoubtedly produce by far the 
most beautiful of all the canary hybrids, as such variety and 
diversity of colour and markings are obtained as cannot be 
had by any other cross. The first thing to be aimed at is to 
get a strain of canary hens that can be relied upon to breed 
marked mules, as it is beyond dispute that the majority of 
hens chosen at random, or even selected, as they sometimes 
are, by breeders who imagine that they know " a thing or 
two," very seldom produce the merest semblance of a pied 
bird, although they have tried season after season with hens 
of totally different strains. When first I commenced to 
breed mules, which is a good many years ago, I began, like 
a great many more fanciers, with no more idea of anything 
further being required than simply to place a male goldfinch 
and female canary together in a breeding-cage, give them a 
nest, and await the result. Experience has taught me very 
different. After breeding mules for several years, with no 
better success than, as a mortified old fancier illnaturedly 
observed, "getting a houseful of sparrows" for such are 
dark mules sometimes designated I began to turn my attention 
to the subject more closely. 

SIB-BRED BIRDS. Having determined to enquire into this 
subject, I paid a visit to a person who had obtained consider- 
able notoriety in his neighbourhood among the "fancy," 
from the fact of his having bred, during the previous five or 
six years, two or three very good goldfinch and canary 
mules. He was a carpenter by trade, and I found him 
shrewd and intelligent, and inclined to be communicative. 
As a matter of course, I asked him the usual "thousand and 
one" questions, but all the information of a practical 

94 The Canary Book. 

character that I was enabled to obtain from him was that all 
his canary hens used for this purpose were of So-and-so's 
" celebrated " strain. I visited another and another, with a 
like result, and not being satisfied I determined to visit Mr. 
So-and-so himself. This gentleman was none other than a 
knight of the shovel and pick ; or, to speak more plainly, a 
pitman, or hewer of "black diamonds." This individual 1 
found to be exceedingly reserved, cautious, suspicious, 'and 
cunning in his manner. When I began to question him as to 
how he managed to obtain the hens that had bred him such 
excellent mules, he was very mysterious in his demeanour, 
and his answers were given after considerable deliberation 
oa his part. He evidently regarded my visit and catechising 
him with much disfavour. Finding that my tactics in 
asking straightforward questions were not at all appreciated, 
I resorted to a different plan altogether, and with apparently 
much better success. I bought a marked mule from him at 
a good price, and also a young canary hen "of the mother 
of the mule" I had bought so he informed me. She ought 
to have been, for the price I paid for her ; but whether she 
was a daughter of this particular hen or not, I can only say 
that she failed to emulate the deeds of her parent. After 
repeated visits and much manoeuvring, I fancied I had 
learned something. He told me he had possessed the strain 
for upwards of twenty years ; and in answer to further 
questions, I discovered that they were all very nearly allied 
in blood relationship. This gave me an idea, and I resolved 
to follow it up. 

Whenever I heard that any breeder had produced a " pied " 
mule, I made it a rule to go and try my utmost to trace the 
parentage of the hen that bred it. Sometimes I succeeded to 
a certain extent, but not generally ; and I found it a slow pro- 
cess and terribly up-hill work. It often happened that the hen 
had been bought from a dealer, or the person had forgotten 
where he purchased her, and had merely run a goldfinch to her 
as an " off chance," in hopes of getting " something good." Still 
the little information I was enabled to accumulate in this way 

Mule Breeding. 95 

strengthened my first impression, that the chief secret lay in the 
in-and-in breeding (consanguinity). 

In or about the year 1872, I visited an old man in a small 
country town in Northumberland, who had been a bird breeder 
for a great number of years; he bred mules principally, and 
had obtained some very handsome specimens chiefly evenly- 
marked birds. I could not glean much from this individual 
himself, as he was by no means of a communicative disposition ; 
but I learnt from a neighbour of his, who had the same 
strain of hens, but had been a little less fortunate in obtaining 
good mules, that the origin of them had been the produce of 
a common hen canary and a " London Fancy " cock. I failed 
to learn anything of the antecedents of the hen as to parentage ; 
but the cock, I ascertained, was bred by a gentleman who had 
bred London Fancies for several years, and during the whole of 
that time he had not introduced a change of blood. 

When I got north of the River Tweed, I visited one day a very 
old fancier, who had had the good fortune to breed and rear 
some excellent mules. I found him to be a respectable and 
trustworthy man, and consequently I courted his acquaintance. 
I was too familiar with the peculiarities of the Scotch people to 
begin to exhibit any inquisitiveness at first, but as time rolled 
on our friendship waxed greater, and I ventured to ask him how 
he procured the hens which bred him his good mules. He 
replied, " They are sib bred." " Sib bred ! " I repeated ; " what 
is that P " He said, very gravely, " Weel, sib bred is sib bred, 
an I thocht that onybody kenned what that was." However, I 
found that the meaning of the words was consanguinity ; and 
thus the idea which I had naturally formed was practically 
confirmed. He further informed me that all the hens he had 
bred mules from were as " sib bred " as they could be, and that 
all the principal Scotch breeders attributed their success to this 
cause. My theory is that the blood becomes so thoroughly pure 
in one direction by the process of breeding in-and-in that the 
admixture with a foreign or opposite species produces little 
change in it ; and I have no doubt that this is the veritable 
solution of the " secret " which has been so closely kept for so 

g6 The Canary Book. 

many years. No doubt, there are other adjuncts needed for the 
production of mules of a superior class, having in view the 
improvements, size, colour, and feather, which I will point out 
in the course of my remarks ; but, before I do so, I will give the 
result of my own experiments, which, being practical, will be 
valued accordingly. 

Being now thoroughly convinced that I had discovered the 
true method of producing marked mules, I procured a clear buff 
Norwich cock canary, bred from clear birds, by a friend who had 
bred with a few pairs for four or five years, merely for his own 
amusement, and, therefore, had not deemed it worth his while to 
introduce a fresh strain. I put this cock to a clear yellow hen, 
bred from two evenly-marked Norwich birds by myself, which 
were pretty closely related. I kept two hens and a cock from 
this pair, and having paired these again, I got three young 
canaries from one hen and two from the other. I then placed a 
male goldfinch with each of the hens, and during the season I 
bred some nicely-marked mules scarcely good enough to show 
in this age of marvels, but notwithstanding, good birds. Fired 
by my success to more vigorous exertions, I determined to extend 
my chances, and hearing of a person who had some hens very 
"sib bred," I purchased one, and two more goldfinches. 

The following year I put up two young hens, one yellow 
and one buff (the remainder being all cocks), bred as before 
stated, and also the " sib bred " hen which I had purchased. 
She was a clear buff hen, of the variety known as "Norwich 
Fancy," and was the produce of clear buff parents. I first 
took a nest of canaries from each of these hens, and after- 
wards introduced them to the " goldies." One of the young 
hens started at once, and laid a nest of eggs which proved 
fruitful, and were hatched; but the young birds were weak 
and delicate, and only lived two days. They had all the 
appearance of being light mules, as their skins were like 
newly-hatched canaries'; I was much pleased with my success 
so far, although doomed to disappointment by the loss I sus- 
tained when they succumbed. Scarcely, however, had I become 
reconciled to my first misfortune, when a second and worse 

Mule Breeding. 97 

befel me; for, a few days afterwards, the mother of them 
died also. I was now left with nothing but the two hens, as 
I had previously parted with the others ; and in one of these 
I must confess my expectations were very limited. They each 
laid about a week after the first-named hen, but both their 
eggs were barren ; so I exchanged the goldfinches, and the 
following nests proved fruitful. I set them both together, as 
they laid on the same day ; but before the period of incubation 
had expired, I thought it prudent to exchange their nests, as 
the young hen I bred myself was not a good feeder, and it 
was with difficulty that she had managed to rear one bird 
from her first brood; whereas the other hen had proved herself 
to be thoroughly reliable in this respect. 

As their time for hatching drew near, my anxiety and anti- 
cipations increased, and culminated one morning when I entered 
my bird-room and heard a low chirping sound familiar to the 
ears of old experienced fanciers proceeding from the corner 
in which the cage containing the two hens in question was 
hanging. I made straight to the spot without a moment's 
delay, and listening with an eager and attentive ear, I soon 
discovered that both of them had hatched. I proceeded at 
once to give them the usual viands as quickly as I could, and 
made my exit rather abruptly, as I was afraid to disturb the 
hens any more than I could help on this occasion. My desire 
to have a peep at the little strangers, the produce of the hen 
I had bred, became more intense as each day passed by ; but 
when the fifth day arrived I could not restrain my curiosity 
any longer, so I ventured to poke the hen off her nest, 
which I took out of the cage and conveyed to that part of 
the room where I got the most light. A minute inspection 
followed, and although I found them fairly good mules, I 
must confess they were not so good as I had expected; so I 
returned them to their foster-mother more disappointed than 
pleased. On the following day I was feeding my birds, as 
usual, when I casually noticed the other hen which had charge 
of the other mules off her nest ; and, singularly enough, 
about these I had felt no matter of anxiety, and very little 


gS The Canary Book. 

curiosity, but I thought I might as well have a look at them 
when an opportunity was afforded me. Guess my astonish- 
ment and gratification, then, when I discerned two light 
mules there! I removed the nest in the twinkling of an eye, 
and found, to my dismay, that the poor little hungry-looking 
wretches had been half-starved for want of better attention 
from the mother, and must, unless some succour was imme- 
diately forthcoming, perish. 

My first impulse, on finding the two light-coloured mules 
among the half-starved youngsters, was to transfer the brood 
to the other hen ; but, seeing the great disparity that existed 
between the size of the one lot and that of the other, I 
resolved not to adopt this plan, as I well knew that the 
larger and stronger birds would be pretty certain to smother 
their small and weakly companions. My next notion was to 
throw out the darkest, and consequently least valuable birds, 
to save the others; had I done this I should have acted 
wisely, at least in a pecuniary point of view; but, like 
thousands of other people in this world, I adopted a "penny- 
wise and pound-foolish" policy. 

I felt reluctant to lose any of the birds so long as there 
appeared the least possibility of saving them; and beside, 
I had some qualms of conscience, I am bound to admit, when 
the idea of killing those poor unoffending little birdies crossed 
my mind. I was in a dilemma, that is quite certain, and 
how was I to get out of it puzzled me not a little. At last I 
made up my mind to take the mule which I considered of 
the least value from under the hen which was feeding her 
young to my satisfaction, and give it to the one which was 
not behaving properly to those under her care. I then re- 
moved the clear mule for such it really was and put it in 
the place of the one I had taken away, thereby effecting a 
transfer, so that each hen in reality got one of her own progeny 
by the change. 

There was still a grand mule left underneath the neglectful 
foster mother which I was most anxious to save, and having 
a canary hen with a brood of young birds some three or four 

Mule Breeding. 99 

days old, I effected a second transfer between these hens, on 
the same plan as the first. This appeared to me to be the 
most satisfactory arrangement I could make, as the only risk 
I had was that of losing a moderately-marked mule and 
a Norwich canary; but I was quite willing to make this 
sacrifice if I could only succeed in rearing the two mules of 
such excellence and promise. As I said before, one of them 
was quite clear, and the other had beautiful evenly-marked 
wings, seven dark feathers in each in the upper part of the 
wing, and corresponding exactly, with all the appearance of 
being clear elsewhere, with the exception of eye marks, which 
would still further have enhanced its value. At the age of 
thirteen days, however, this bird died, and the clear mule 
expired a few days before; so I gave each of the hens their 
first charges back to them, by no means benefited in appear- 
ance or condition by the change. 

The loss of these birds was exceedingly mortifying to me, and 
I do not need to tell those who know anything about mule 
breeding what a serious one it was; but perhaps I ought to 
warn those who intend to pursue this pastime that they must 
be prepared to meet with similar disappointments. 

When the hen which bred me the good mules had reared 
those under her care, I took a nest of canaries of her, and 
afterwards another nest of mules, four in number, which 
consisted of one dark and three marked birds. I twice showed 
the best of the marked ones, and obtained a "high com- 
mendation" on one occasion, and a "very high commendation" 
on the other. From the other hen I got two more nests of 
mules, and among them were two very good specimens, being 
nicely marked, although small; both were hens, and con- 
sequently of little value. In the autumn of the same year 
some kind of distemper, which proved very fatal, got among 
my birds, and I lost a great number of them; the only birds 
I had left to begin the following season with of the mule 
breeding strain were the two hens, and two young cocks from 
the hen that produced the best mules. I commenced, as 
usual, with placing a canary cock with each hen for a first 

H 2 

ioo The Canary Book. 

nest, but I only succeeded in rearing one young canary, 
which died at the age of fourteen days. I next put the 
goldfinches with them, but on this occasion I reversed the 
cocks, for this reason: One of them was what is known 
among bird breeders as a "pea-throat," and he was the 
father of the clear and lightly marked mules; and being 
aware that a difference of opinion exists among breeders with 
respect to these birds, some attributing the cause of the 
mules being pied or marked to the fact of breeding with 
"pea-throat" and "cheverell" goldfinches, I resolved upon 
making an experiment, in order to ascertain, if possible, 
whether there really was any foundation for such a belief. 
In the course of twelve or fourteen days both hens laid and 
were set, and their eggs were fruitful. The hen with the 
"pea-throat" hatched four eggs and brought up the mules 
herself there were three of them marked and one entirely 
dark, but the marked birds were not so good as those she 
had produced the previous year with an ordinary goldfinch. 
The other hen hatched and reared three birds, two being 
dark and the other tolerably well marked. I had purposed 
reversing the finches again, but before I had an opportunity 
of doing so the "pea-throat" died. I thereupon ran the other 
goldfinch the only one I had left to the hen which had 
reared a brood by the " pea- throat "; the result was a nest 
of three mules, all marked birds, and very similar in their 
markings to her first produce. I had replaced the finch with 
the other hen, and on this occasion she hatched four mules, 
which consisted of two dark buff mules, one clear mule, and 
the other had one lightly-marked wing and an eye mark on 
the same side as the marked wing. The clear mule died at 
the age of three weeks, from some cause which I never was 
able to discover, as it appeared in perfect health only a few 
hours before I found it dead; the other I managed to rear, 
but, unfortunately, I lost the lightly-marked bird when it was 
almost through the moult. One of the dark mules from this 
nest I showed at the Crystal Palace, where it took first 

Mule Breeding. 101 

During the moulting season the yellow hen which had bred 
me some very fair mules died, and also the young canary cock 
of this strain; the other I had sold previously, so that I had 
nothing but one hen and the goldfinch left, and I was so exas- 
perated at my bad fortune that I exchanged them for a pair 
of good Lizard canaries with a friend, and gave up this 
branch of bird - breeding ; but it is my intention to try it 
again, and, I hope, with fewer misfortunes than I have hitherto 

A gentleman who purchased from me a young cook bred 
from the " sib-bred " hen, mother of the best mules I had 
bred, put him to a clear Norwich hen canary, and a young 
hen bred from this pair produced two very excellent mules. 
I mention this fact to prove that where the blood is right 
it will be perpetuated in future generations. I could name 
several other cases within my own knowledge, if it were neces- 
sary, to verify the fact. Nevertheless, it must be distinctly 
understood that while this peculiar feature is traceable through 
an entire race of birds allied in blood, it varies much and in 
different degrees, even in the same family or generation. For 
instance, I have known three hens, own sisters, each produce 
mules, and although the progeny from the whole of them 
were more or less pied, there was a marked characteristic 
distinction among them, those of one particular hen being 
infinitely superior in quality and markings to those of the 
others. This, I presume, depends greatly upon the well-known 
fact which is familiarly termed "throwing back," that is, 
breeding back for several generations in favour or resemblance 
to certain progenitors. This is no new theory, but an acknow- 
ledged fact, and it is traceable not only in birds and animals, 
but in the human species also. 

intention to attempt to refute in toto the theory held by some 
breeders, who consider it essentially necessary to have a 
"Cheverell" or a "Pea-throat" goldfinch in order to obtain 
marked mules. My experience has taught me to place implicit 
reliance upon the canary hens, and I am fully persuaded that 

1 02 The Canary Book. 

unless the hens are of the right sort you will never succeed 
in producing lightly-marked mules simply by breeding from 
goldfinches of the description I have named. And I am quite 
sure that more than two-thirds of the most successful breeders 
of these birds will bear me out in my assertion ; at the same 
time, I know that both "Cheverell" and "Pea-throat" gold- 
finches are much sought after and highly esteemed by some 
of the oldest and most experienced mule breeders in this 
country, and a much better price can be obtained for them 
than for ordinary birds. Indeed, I have known as much as a 
sovereign to have been paid for a good specimen of the first- 
named kind. Many noted breeders assert that hens are more 
likely to " throw " a good mule with a finch of this sort than 
with one of the ordinary type, and this fact I am not at all 
disposed to dispute. I have great regard for the opinions of 
thoroughly practical men, and for this reason I am not 
desirous of endeavouring to ignore what appears to be a 
settled conviction in favour of these particular kinds of gold- 
finches; at the same time, I consider it right to say that I 
have seen several grand mules bred from goldfinches of the 
common description, and this fact goes far to prove that the 
theory I hold is well founded; and beside this, I can certify 
that several breeders who are personally known to me have 
tried the experiment with both varieties of the goldfinch above 
mentioned, and hens chosen promiscuously, and have never 
succeeded in breeding a pied mule of any value. This being 
so, it must be evident to all that the first and principal 
requirement, in order to insure success in this particular 
branch of bird-breeding, is to procure a race of canary hens 
upon which some reliance can be placed. I will, therefore 
endeavour to instruct those who are desirous of pursuing this 
interesting study in the most approved method of producing 
a thoroughly reliable strain for this purpose. 

CAN ABIES FOB MULE-BREEDINGK In the first place, I, 
recommend the purchase of a pair of London Fancy canaries, 
as I believe that all birds of this particular variety are very 
closely allied in blood relationship, much more so than is 

Mule Breeding. 103 

generally supposed. This class of birds has been in the 
hands of a very limited number of fanciers for the last 
forty years or more, and have dwindled year by year to a 
mere fraction of what they were at that period. They have 
become very delicate with in-and-in breeding, and their con- 
stitutions have been greatly impaired thereby, so that the 
strongest of them are now regarded as tender birds. Having 
procured these, get a large bird bred between a Belgian 
canary and a cinnamon variegated Yorkshire Fancy; let it be 
perfectly clear in colour, and if it "blows clear" all over, so 
much the better that is, clear in the under flue, or small 
feathers next the skin. Many birds which appear clear are 
found when examined to have small black feathers beneath 
their outer covering. Birds of this kind should be avoided 
when they are intended to be matched with a London Fancy 
bird, as plenty of green will be had from the last-named 
variety. Having obtained a bird of this description of the 
opposite sex and colour to the " black wing " (London Fancy), 
they can be paired. In choosing a cross-bred bird of this 
sort, endeavour to get one with red or brown eyes, commonly 
called " pink-eyed " ; it is not difficult to do so, as most birds 
with a cross of cinnamon blood in their veins have red eyes. 

In the next place, procure a clear hen of the evenly-marked 
Norwich Fancy strain. The larger she is and the richer in 
colour the better. This hen must blow clear likewise that is, 
when you blow back the feathers on the under part of the 
body the inner feathers or under-flue should be clear as well 
as the upper or top covering of feathers. When purchasing 
London Fancies be sure to have them both out of the same 
nest, if obtainable; if not, they ought certainly to be of the 
same parents ; and I should strongly advise you to get two 
male birds if possible; but, if not, couple the cock bird with 
the Norwich Fancy hen, and the hen "black wing" with a 
male bird bred in the way I have already pointed out. Keep 
two or three of the cleanest birds obtained from these crosses ; 
but if any of them have "pink eyes," select these in pre- 
ference to all the others; mate these, and breed from them 

104 The Canary Book. 

the following season. K preferred, some of the hens bred 
from the last cross may be run with goldfinches, when, no 
doubt, a few tolerably good males will be obtained from 
them; but the canaries must be bred in-and-in for some 
years longer before mules of the highest standard of excel- 
lence can be expected. They must be so crossed as to insure 
an intimate blood relationship; but while a pair should be 
collaterally related, they must not be of common parentage 
or of the same direct line, as the produce of these crosses 
are generally puny and difficult to rear. 

DOUBLE-YELLOWS. Occasionally two yellow birds must be 
put together. The produce of these will sometimes be found 
scant in feather, and when crossed the same way a second 
time will be still more so. Indeed, I have seen hens so semi- 
nude by this process of breeding that the sight of them was 
offensive. But these hens invariably breed the handsomest 
hybrids. I once saw a very beautiful evenly-marked goldfinch 
mule, which was bred from a hen that was so destitute of 
feather, so pinched and hungry-looking in her appearance, 
that I positively would not have had her as a gift if I had 
not been cognisant of the above fact. 

My reason for advising you to breed from double jonques 
is that you are sure to get more yellow-marked mules by 
this method than by any other, and the yellow-marked birds 
are the most valuable, as they are much more difficult to 
obtain, and, consequently, more rare than buff-marked birds; 
beside, this cross greatly enriches the colour of the birds, 
which in itself is a weighty consideration. 

DOUBLE-BUFFS. In like manner pair two buff birds together, 
say, once in two or three years, as by the adoption of thig 
plan the birds will be greatly improved in feather, both in 
quantity and closeness. It likewise increases their size, and 
materially strengthens their constitutions. A trifle in colour 
may be sacrificed by it, but this is readily regained by match- 
ing a bird bred from two buffs with one of the opposite sex 
bred from two yellows, and the blending of these crosses will 

Mule Breeding. 105 

be found to produce the most beneficial results in every 

breed from the London Fancies, &c., it is a good plan to put 
a pair of pure Norwich Fancies together at the same time, 
both clears and nearly allied in kindred; also put a Belgian, 
Glasgow Don, or Manchester Coppy canary, with a large 
cinnamon variegated hen, or a clear hen bred from two birds 
of the latter description ; cross the produce of these two pairs 
of birds in the same way as I have pointed out in the first 
instance. These birds can in the interval be utilised as 
nurses, but at the end of three years they will be found 
most valuable adjuncts to pair with what I may term the 
regular muling strain, and the admixture of this new blood 
will strengthen and invigorate them wonderfully, and without 
detracting from their specific qualities to any appreciable 
extent as mule breeders, seeing that they inherit the speciality 
required through the in-and-in breeding. 

CONSANGUINITY. If you breed too long on the principle of 
consanguinity, without an occasional admixture of new blood, 
there is a danger in the course of time of losing the strain 
altogether, although it might require a considerable period to 
effect so undesirable an object. Still, there can be no manner 
of doubt that the process of "sib" breeding tends greatly to 
impair the health of birds, and ultimately makes them exceed- 
ingly tender and bad to rear, and therefore an occasional 
cross is in reality an imperative necessity, and I may add 
that it is a common practice with many old mule-breeders to 
exchange with each other a male canary about once in every 
three or five years from their "noted" strains, as they find 
it mutually advantageous to do so. 

When birds are sufficiently "sib-bred" for muling purposes 
they will be found to be very sparse of feathers, and wanting 
in the full complement of tail and wing feathers (eighteen 
feathers in each wing, and twelve in the tail of a bird is the 
full number of an ordirary specimen), and those covering the 

io6 The Canary Book. 

body will be found to be scant and thin; in many oases 
barely sufficient to cover the body in some parts. The appear- 
ance of the feathers also will be meagre, and not fully 
developed, but will have the appearance of being pinched and 
shrivelled up. " Sib-bred " birds are not unf requently deformed 
in their claws and nails; some of them which have been in- 
bred for several generations look ghastly, weak, and puny. 
The best mules that have been bred and exhibited for many 
years have, as a rule, been produced in the northern counties 
of England Durham, Northumberland, and North Yorkshire, 
and in Devonshire, principally in and around Plymouth. 
Since the " Canary Book " was first published, giving the 
method of producing exhibition mules, we have noticed a 
great number of people advertising " sib-bred " hens, and we 
feel it our duty to warn new beginners and inexperienced 
breeders to be careful from whom they purchase such birds, 
as very few fanciers have succeeded in establishing a breed 
of birds that can be relied on for producing such mules as are 
worthy of a place on the show bench. There are so many 
people now-a-days who breed and deal in birds for the sake of 
profit, that little reliance can be placed upon their statements, 

Further experience has taught me that by breeding double- 
buffs and double-yellows together for a lengthened period, 
such birds will, apart from being " sib-bred," produce pied mules. 
To be more explicit, I mean to breed buffs continually with 
buffs, and yellows with yellows, without ever crossing them 
with opposite colours. This I consider a valuable discovery. 

The following will be found a good method for obtaining & 
reliable strain for breeding light, variegated, and clear mules. 
Procure two evenly-marked cinnamon hens of the Yorkshire 
type. All evenly-marked birds from a good strain are sure to 
be bred nearly akin. To these hens match two clear cocks, 
bred from an evenly-marked strain, either Yorkshires or Nor- 
wich birds whichever kind is preferred. The Yorkshires are 
best when size and symmetry are required, and the Norwich if 
you prefer colour to size and shape. One pair should be yellow 
in the ground colour, and the other pair buff. From these 

Mule Breeding. 107 

birds select all the evenly-marked and clear birds, and breed 
them together, brothers and sisters, for three generations; by 
this time they should throw marked mules. You may now 
cross the young bred from the two original pairs of birds, and 
then proceed as before, crossing the buffs together and the 
yellows together, and at the end of the sixth generation you 
ought to be rewarded with a breed of birds as reliable as any 
procurable always, of course, breeding brothers and sisters 
together. This plan has been tried with success. I must, how- 
ever, say that I still have great faith in the London Fancy 
birds for a cross, and should prefer these birds to Norwich, 
as they have been sib-bred for at least fifty years. I must 
also say that I have most faith in an old goldfinch, one from 
three years old upwards, if sound and in good health and 
plumage. Hens with pink eyes bred from a cinnamon cross, 
which indicates Albino blood, are preferable to any other 
variety for breeding variegated mules. In selecting an un- 
tried hen for this purpose choose one that is very pale in 
colour: if of the kind known as " buff," select one as nearly 
white as possible; if "yellow" obtain one of a pale straw 
colour, or as near to those colours as you can procure them, 
as such hens mostly breed pied mules. 

DARK GOLDFINCH MULES. Having fully given all the in- 
structions necessary for obtaining a reliable strain of canaries 
for the production of variegated mules, it will probably be 
found advantageous to some if I give a few hints as to the 
breeding of dark goldfinch mules, which, although of consider- 
ably less value than their more esteemed confreres, the pied 
birds, are nevertheless, when good, much esteemed by some 
people. The great desideratum in these birds is size and rich- 
ness of colour, and when these qualities are obtained, combined 
with good shape, carriage, and closeness and quality of feather, 
you are pretty near the top of the tree, I can assure you. 

In order to establish a tribe of canary hens likely to produce 
dark goldfinch mules fit for the " keenest competition," it will 
be necessary to procure first a very rich-plumaged Norwich 
bird of either sex. with a clea~ orange-coloured breast and dark 

io8 The Canary Book. 

back, flights, and tail, with a clear or very lightly-marked head. 
Couple this bird with a green canary having a light breast, 
bred from the cinnamon-marked strain, or a pretty heavily 
cinnamon-marked bird full of Norwich Fancy blood will do 
quite as well. Next procure the largest-marked bird possible 
one full of Lancashire Fancy properties, and marked as nearly 
like the Norwich bird already described as can be procured. 
Couple this bird with a Lizard canary, or, what would be still 
better, a bird bred between a London Fancy and a Lizard. 
Having succeeded in rearing young birds from these crosses, 
put the produce together the following season, and from the 
birds so bred select the largest and handsomest of the hens, 
green, or nearly all green, in colour. If there are any with 
clear breasts and lightly marked about the head, be sure to 
retain them; if not, choose those which bear the nearest re- 
semblances to what I have described. These hens can be 
placed with goldfinches, and their progeny ought to be up 
to the mark. I like to breed dark mules from young hens, 
romping and full of life and vigour, with large broad heads, 
good in colour, and plenty of feathers. 

If it be desired still further to improve the colour of the 
mules, and there be no objection to sacrificing size and shape 
to colour, cross the hens for two or three generations further 
with the Norwich Fancy variety. If, however, shape be pre- 
ferred to colour, select large birds, such as Glasgow Dons, 
three-quarter bred, or pure Lancashire Fancy canaries, or some 
similar variety of large birds for the purpose; but take care 
to select the birds for these further crosses in accordance 
with the instructions already given, or the result might not 
prove satisfactory. In my opinion, size and shape are great 
acquisitions to a mule; and if with these elements in hand, 
rich colour, close feather, and, what is most admired of all, 
a brilliant orange band round the beak and well up over the face 
of the bird can be obtained, together with a rich, deep, and vividly- 
coloured breast, there are only required style, contour, and 
a graceful carriage to complete a thorough show bird and an 
undoubted prize winner. 

Mule Breeding. 109 

soon as the hens have been obtained from the different crosses 
I have recommended, look out for a few choice goldfinches. 
The birds I prefer for breeding purposes are what are known 
among the initiated as " grey-pates " that is, young gold- 
finches, the produce of the last breeding season. The best 
time to purchase them is in the months of September and 
October, before they have moulted their grey faces and donned 
the plumage of matured birds, as you cannot then be deceived 
as to their actual ages; but it will be necessary to exercisi 
great care in their selection, or you will, in all probability, 
get more females than males. Perhaps the best plan would be 
to purchase a dozen from a flight of newly-caught birds, select 
the male birds, and give the females their liberty ; for, although 
instances have been known of female goldfinches breeding with 
male canaries, they are rare and exceptional, and I cannot in 
any way feel myself justified in advising anyone to try the 
experiment. Goldfinch hens have a natural aversion to arti- 
ficial nests, and very few of them can be reconciled to these 
substitutes. By adopting the plan I have mentioned, you 
ought to be able to buy them at a low figure, say, from 
ten to twelve shillings per dozen, or even less ; much depends 
upon the season, as some years they are more plentiful than 
others. It is not an easy matter to distinguish the males 
from the females, although the former, as a rule, are larger, 
more masculine in appearance, and bolder; they usually have 
longer beaks and larger heads, and the red stripe which 
encircles the root of the beak is broader and brighter, as 
is also the black on the top of the head, down the neck, 
and on the shoulders; the white cheeks are cleaner, and the 
breast and back are likewise purer and more vivid in colour. 
The covering feather of the wing butts are blacker and 
brighter in the male birds than in the females. 

The " Cheverell " goldfinches are known by a clear white 
mark which passes clean through the centre of the red 
stripe which surrounds the roots of the under mandible, and the 
"Pea- throat" by having a round white spot, about the size 

no The Canary Book. 

and shape of a white pea, in precisely the same place (in 
the middle of the red band). In other respects they differ 
very slightly from the ordinary or common stock in general 
appearance, but always bring a better price. " Cheverells " 
(warranted breeders) are usually sold at from ten to twenty 
shillings each, and " Pea-throats " from seven shillings upwards, 
according to age, quality, condition, and other properties. 
Always select a light-coloured goldfinch with a clear white 
hind-face and collar, and with a bright, deep full blaze of 
rich scarlet, in preference to a dark, dull, dingy-coloured 
specimen to breed with. 

Instances sometimes occur in which a young goldfinch fails 
to breed with a canary hen the first season, but does so 
the second; such birds, however, are usually of a timid or 
phlegmatic temperament, and are more suitable for singing 
than for breeding purposes. There are others, again, too 
ardent so much so, that if they are permitted to remain 
with their spouses they will destroy the eggs as soon as they 
are laid. As a great many goldfinches are guilty of this 
malpractice, I think it is best to remove them from beside 
the hens a day or two before they commence to lay; they 
can, however, be returned to their domicile during the day 
and taken away again at night, if considered necessary. Or, 
if it be thought preferable to leave a goldfinch with a hen 
during the time she is occupied in laying her complement 
of eggs, then a duplicate nest should be given her that is, 
if I may so describe it, a nest within a nest. For instance, 
suppose you are in the habit of using the artificial nests 
recommended by me in the first chapter, you must get a piece 
of felt, and make and fit it in precisely the same manner as 
the piece used for the original nest, only it must not be quite 
so large, so that when it is placed inside the other it will 
leave a space. Cut a small hole in the duplicate or outer 
artificial nest, sufficiently large for the egg to drop through, 
and place it inside the nest proper, or cut the end of a cocoa- 
nut, make a large hole through it, line it with felt and use it- 
As soon as the hen has laid an egg it will fall through 

Mule Breeding. 1 1 1 

the aperture, and Master Goldie will be thereby frustrated 
from carrying out his malicious vagaries. The eggs ought 
to be removed daily until three have been laid, when the 
goldfinch should be tat en from beside her. It must not be 
presumed that all the tribe of goldfinches are gifted with 
those vicious proclivities, and those who are desirous of leaving 
the twain together can do so; but be it remembered that it 
will be very necessary to exercise considerable vigilance, 
especially at the commencement of the breeding season, or a 
whole nest of eggs may be sacrificed ere the mischief is dis- 
covered, or worse, as has frequently happened, not until the 
second or even third nest of eggs has been destroyed by the 

INCUBATION. There is no advantage to be gained by leaving 
a goldfinch and canary together during incubation, as it is an 
exceedingly rare occurrence to find a " goldie " assisting to 
rear the progeny; in fact, I have only known of two well- 
authenticated instances of this kind during the whole of my 
experience. Plenty of goldfinches will feed the canary hens 
whilst they are nesting and sitting ; but they apparently deem 
it no part of their duty to succour the young birds after they 
are brought forth; indeed, many of them proceed to destroy 
the newly-hatched broods, and the majority of those which do 
not, ill-treat them without compunction after they have left 
the nest. In addition to these drawbacks there is another 
important consideration, and that is, that the presence of 
the male bird would be sure to induce the hen to commence 
a second brood earlier than she otherwise would do; and if 
she began to lay, as she doubtless would, ere the young mules 
could cater for themselves, there would be great danger in 
losing them, as they would in all likelihood perish. 

NATURAL ALLIANCE, &c. There are a great number of 
difficulties to contend with in mule breeding, as both gold- 
finches and canaries naturally prefer an alliance with birds of 
their own species, although rare instances have been recorded 
where a mutual attachment has been known to exist between 

112 The Canary Book. 

birds of a totally different species. Nevertheless, in other 
cases it has been found literally impossible to effect an alliance 
of this kind, even despite repeated and protracted efforts to 
bring about a union ; and although the birds have been kept 
in close communion with each other, and apart from all other 
birds, not the slightest traces of regard for each other could be 

Presuming that you have been successful in obtaining a race 
of "sib-bred" canary hens and a few select goldfinches, turn 
them into flight cages together about the month of November; 
but, before doing so, satisfy yourself that the goldfinches will 
eat canary seed, or rape and canary mixed. 

NEWLT-CAUOHT GOLDFINCHES. It not unfrequently happens 
that newly-caught birds of this species refuse to eat seeds of 
the description named, and many of them sulk and repine- 
especially old birds that have bred in the open air with hens 
of their own tribe ; these birds are not only deprived of their 
liberty and their domestic partners in life, but the sudden 
changes of scene and food are so great that a complete 
revolution in their systems is begun, and so powerful is the 
change that in many cases their lives are seriously jeopardised 
thereby. It is therefore advisable for a time to give them a 
mixture of hemp, millet, maw, and linseed, and if thistles are 
procurable, a few of the tops should be given them, together 
with a little dock seed, which is plentiful in most places not 
under rigid cultivation; a cabbage or lettuce leaf, or a little 
groundsel, may also be given with advantage, and a little white 
bread soaked in milk. 

MATING. After they become accustomed to their new mode 
of life, it will be necessary gradually to discontinue giving them 
those luxuries, and the ordinary food supplied to the canaries 
will be found sufficient, although some birds will almost starve 
ere they submit to this fare; there are others who take to it 
quite readily, and these are the birds which generally prove 
most valuable as mule breeders. As soon as you are convinced 
that the finches will subsist on the ordinary canary diet, placo 

Mule Breeding. 1 1 3 

them in large cages with the canary hens in batches of, say, 
from four to six hens and from two to three goldfinches in each 
cage, two hens, in my opinion, being amply sufficient for one 
" goldie " for breeding purposes ; by adopting this plan the 
hens, which are sometimes afraid of the finches, get accus- 
tomed to them, whilst, on the other hand, the " spinks " over- 
come the natural aversion which they entertain to forming an 
alliance with an opposite or distinctly different species of 
bird. As the spring of the year approaches the male birds 
usually commence to quarrel, and it will be found necessary 
to separate them; but, should an attachment appear to exist 
between any particular finch and canary, be sure to mate 
these birds. When you remove them from the flight-cages, 
put one goldfinch and two hen canaries together in a breed- 
ing-cage, until one of the hens exhibit signs of wanting to go 
to nest. Then supply that requisite, and when she is busily 
employed about it introduce a male canary to the hens. In 
the first place, he must be put into a separate cage, and 
hung in such a position that he can be seen by both the 
female canaries and the finch. If the hens have not formed 
an attachment with the goldfinch, they will be, in all proba- 
bility, very much delighted with this introduction ; whilst 
Master " Goldie," especially if he be attached to the hens 
and of an amatory temperament, will exhibit unmistakable 
symptoms of jealousy, and by this means his affections will 
be considerably strengthened, unless he be of a sulky dispo- 
sition, when it is quite possible he might fret and repine, 
and ultimately die of a broken heart; but I have only known 
one case of this extreme character. After the lapse of two 
or three days, remove the other hen and the goldfinch into 
another cage, and put the canary cock with the first-men- 
tioned hen. As soon as the latter hen has laid her comple- 
ment of eggs, remove the cock canary to the cage containing 
the other hen; but, before doing so, take out the finch and 
place him in a small cage by himself, and hang it in such a 
position as he will be able to see both hens and the canary 
cock. As soon as the second hen has laid her third egg the 

H4 The Canary Book. 

male canary should be removed, and she should be set. My 
reason for recommending this method is, first, that the female 
canary, having naturally a stronger desire for a mate of her 
own species than for a foreigner, is thereby induced to begin 
to breed sooner than she would otherwise do; for although 
a hen canary will build, and sit about the nest in the pre- 
sence of a goldfinch, it will be found that she rarely, if ever, 
begins to breed before the end of April or beginning of 
May; and I have known instances of hens postponing their 
breeding operations as late as June under such circumstances ; 
whereas, if they had had a partner of their own tribe, they 
would most probably have had eggs in March or the begin- 
ning of April. My next reason is, that goldfinches rarely 
begin to breed until the middle of April, but more frequently 
in May; and another reason is, that it gives an opportunity 
of testing the capabilities of the hens in the capacity of 
nurses ; for, if a hen fail in this respect, it is useless to breed 
mules from her unless you provide yourself with a few spare 
hens to act as foster mothers to the newly-hatched birds. I 
need scarcely say that this is not at all desirable if it can by 
any means be dispensed with. A further reason is that, sup- 
posing the hen produces a nest of good mules, there is the 
satisfaction of having some of her offspring for future opera- 
tions. It is a generally recognised maxim among old expe- 
rienced mule breeders not to place a goldfinch with a hen 
canary so long as he retains any portion of the "black" on 
his bill, as it is believed that until the beak is quite clear 
they are unproductive. It is perhaps necessary for me to 
explain here that all goldfinches, during the winter and early 
spring, have a dark mark resembling an ink or pencil line, 
which runs straight down the middle of the upper mandible, 
and as soon as they are ready to pair this mark entirely dis- 
appears; not all at once it is a gradual process, and extends 
over several weeks; but until it does so the bird is not con- 
sidered in a fit condition to produce fruitful eggs. Another 
peculiar feature about a goldfinch is that when moulted in 
the open air it has black legs, but as soon as it becomes 

Mule Breeding. 

domesticated, and is moulted in the house, its legs becomes clear 
or flesh-coloured, although termed by the "fancy" "white- 
legged ; " hence you are able to tell whether a bird has been 
" house-moulted " or not. It is further stated, on good autho- 
rity, that if ever a goldfinch becomes clear in the bill before 
the month of February it is certain to die shortly after it has 
been placed with a hen canary for the first time. I have 
myself known two instances of this happening. I think it is 
caused through keeping the birds in too hot a room and 
giving them stimulating food, which ripens them out of season, 
and the unwary are sometimes imposed upon by unprincipled 
people selling them birds of this description as "grand 
breeding birds." 

Should anyone desire to experiment with a female goldfinch 
and a male canary, in preference to the usual and generally 
recognised method of breeding 
mules, I would advise him to 
*se a small room or very large 
aviary for the purpose if an 
out-of-door one, all the better ; 
a small apple or pear tree 
planted in a tub should be sup- 
plied them; and care should 
be taken to keep it well 
watered and manured ; in ad- 
dition to this, the birds will 
require a quantity of moss > 

lichens, fine root fibres, and a Fio 45. Box NEST. 

Kttle wool, hair (cowhair), and 

dandelion or thistle-down for nest-building. They ought like- 
wise to be kept together during the winter months, or at any 
rate for several weeks prior to the commencement of the breed- 
ing season. In all other respects mules must be bred and 
treated in the same manner as canaries. If bred in cages use 
the nest represented in Fig. 45. The bottom and sides are made 
of wood, and likewise the ends ; but it is an improvement to 
have one end glazed with ground glass, to give more light, 

I 2 

n6 The Canary Book. 

or it can be fitted to slide in and out of grooves. At the 
other end is an aperture for ingress and egress; the bottom 
is extended forward to admit of a perch being fixed to it for 
the convenience of the birds when going to or from the nest. 
A large round hole is made in the bottom to admit a tin nest ; 
the top is left uncovered for ventilation. At one side, near 
the top, a hole is made to hang it up to the back of a cage, or 
the wall of an outdoor aviary. 

The nest should be placed at one end of the cage, within 
2in. of the roof or ceiling; the tin nest should be lined with 
felt before being put in its place. It would be an improvement 
to have the nest fitted inside to a stout wire frame, and open 
wire-work surrounding it, so that the refuse from the young 
birds would fall to the bottom of the cage instead of accumu- 
lating in the nest box. If made with a wood bottom, the 
nest should project from in. to fin. above the floor, to allow 
sufficient space for the collection of excrement, and a nest 
box so constructed will require to be removed after the young 
birds have left it, in order that it may be entirely freed from 
dirt. This description of nest is preferable to all others for 
the purpose for which it is intended, and it will be found by 
experience that, where several different kinds of nests are 
placed in an aviary along with it, the birds will almost 
invariably choose the one here represented. It can be contrived 
to hang on the outside of the end of a breeding cage if preferred. 

CAGES FOB MTJLE BREEDING. The best kind of cages to 
use for the purpose of mule breeding are those made with 
three separate compartments, but constructed in such a 
manner that they can readily be made into two, or even one, 
if deemed desirable. This can be done by using sliding par- 
titions ; the best kind are those in the form of a light frame, 
and wired similar to the front of a cage, small screw rings 
or knobs being used to pull them out. They should be made 
to run in grooves. By having the cages upon this principle 
the birds can see each other, and, when they choose, have a 
tete-a-tete; the centre compartment can be used for the male 
bird until the young nestlings are old enough to be removed 

Mule Breeding. 


from the maternal care, when they can be conveniently trans- 
ferred to it, and a necessary change readily effected. The 
wires, however, should be sufficiently wide to allow the young- 
sters to get their heads through, lest they should require for 
a few days longer the parental assistance in feeding. The 
dimensions of the cage should be as follows : Entire length, 
42in.; depth, from top to bottom, 14in. ; width, from back to 
front, lOin. ; each of the end compartments ought to be 15in. 
in length, outside measurement, and the centre one 12in., or 
if it be preferred, the whole of the three compartments can 
be made the same size ; each one should be furnished with a 
seed hopper and an egg drawer, in addition to a water trough ; 


the cages should be made entirely of wood, with the exception 
of the front and sliding communicators; a false bottom, made 
to draw out, so that the cage can be readily cleaned out during 
the breeding season without disturbing the hens, would be 
found exceedingly serviceable, or the breeding cage represented 
in Fig. 46 may be used where breeding on a small scale is 
considered desirable. 

CAGES FOB YOUNG MULES. Mules are very mischievous 
birds; they are much addicted to plucking each other, and 


The Canary Book. 

ought on this account to be kept in separate cages after 
they begin to moult. A large fir cage, lightly built, and 
divided into eight, ten, or twelve compartments, can be made 
to answer the purpose required at a small outlay. It may be 
black varnished outside if desired; the dimensions of a cage 
of this sort need not exceed llin. square for each of the 
several compartments, and Sin. from back to front. Tin 
hoppers and drinking troughs, japanned, could be made to 
hang on the front of each compartment. For a singing bird, 
the drawing-room cage shown in Fig. 47 will be found 


LINNET AND OTHER MULES. Brown or grey linnet and 
canary mules can be obtained in the same way as goldfinch 
and canary mules. Care should be taken, however, to procure 
young linnets, if obtainable; they are easily distinguished, 
when newly caught, by the absence of red colour on their 
heads, and also by the fact that the head in young birds is 
more profusely covered with black spots than in older birds. 
The russet colour of their backs, too, is spotted with dark 
brown and reddish white; these birds are known as grey 
linnets. The older or more matured birds, when first caught, 
are very red on the forehead; the remainder of the head 
being reddish ashen grey, spotted on the poll with black, and 

Mule Breeding. 

on the cheeks, the sides of the neck, and round the eyes with 
reddish white, besides, the feathers on the sides of the breast 
are nearly blood-red; and birds of this description are known 
among professional bird-catchers by the cognomen of "stubble" 
birds. Linnets alter very much in their appearance, according 
to age and circumstances, and if old birds are moulted in the 
house their rich plumage is changed into ashen grey and 
russet brown, and they strongly resemble the ordinary grey 
linnet in their outward covering. 

The same rules as are laid down for breeding goldfinch 
and canary mules must be observed in breeding with linnets 
and canaries, and the same remarks apply to siskins, green- 
finches, redpoles, &c. By far the handsomest mules, however, 
are those bred between the goldfinch and canary. It is stated 
by some breeders that mules have been obtained by crossing 
a bullfinch and a canary together. I am perfectly aware that 
a bullfinch will occasionally pair with a hen canary, but I 
have never been able to find a verified instance in which the 
eggs proved fruitful. I have seen a bird exhibited which was 
said to be a hybrid of this kind; but, beyond the fact that 
its bill bore a striking likeness to that of the bullfinch, I 
could not discover another trace of resemblance to it.* 

It is also affirmed by some authorities that mules will pro- 
pagate their own species in confinement, but I have never 
known a single instance in which this fact has been clearly 

The goldfinch and bullfinch will breed together. I have 
seen some fine specimens of the hybrids from a male gold- 
finch and a female "bully;" and in the case to which I refer 
she took very readily to an artificial nest. 

There are other varieties of the finch tribes that will breed 
together quite readily; but their produce are valued more as 
curiosities and rarce aves than objects of beauty. 

* I have now seen a hybrid, the property of Mr. Williams, of Liverpool, which 
I believe to be bred between the canary and bullfinch. It is the only genuine 
specimen I have seen. A likeness of it is given in this issue of "The Canary 


120 The Canary Book. 

Female hybrids, unless well marked or clear in colour, are 
of no value intrinsically. 

In addition to the hybrids already mentioned, it has been 
asserted that the yellow-hammer and canary have bred together, 
and I have seen a mule exhibited, said to be a cross between 
the species named, and a prize was awarded to it. I examined 
it most minutely, but failed to find a trace of canary in its 
composition, nor could I discover anything about the bird to 
lead me to believe that it was other than an ordinary yellow- 

In my own experience, I have never observed any signs 
of affinity to exist between the yellow-hammer and canary. 
Besides, yellow-hammers are insectivorous as well as grain- 
eating, which canaries are not ; and I doubt very much 
whether hybrids so bred(?) could be reared on canary diet. 

Mules can be bred between the goldfinch and greenfinch, 
the goldfinch and linnet, siskin and goldfinch, bullfinch and 
goldfinch, goldfinch and redpole, bullfinch and greenfinch, and 
bullfinch and linnet. In fact, any two varieties of the finch 
family may, with care and patience, and if in good health 
and under favourable circumstances, be induced to breed, and 
any of these will breed with the canary. In the latter case 
we prefer the hen to be the canary, and in using goldfinches 
we prefer the male to be of that variety. Mules bred between 
the greenfinch and linnet, or greenfinch and bullfinch, or green- 
finch and siskin in fact, any mules bred between the green- 
finch and any other variety of the finch tribe, are never 
handsome, and are looked upon more as a rara avis than 
otherwise; by far the handsomest mules are those bred 
between the goldfinch and canary, and next to these are pre- 
ferred the specimens obtained between the bullfinch and 
goldfinch, many of these crosses producing very handsome 



GENERAL REMARKS. There is a quaint old saying that 
" Prevention is better than cure," and there is more philosophy 
in that maxim than at first sight appears, except to those 
who may be intimately acquainted with the "His that flesh 
is heir to." 

It is well known to pathologists that the most prolific causes, 
both in the origination and dissemination of diseases, are, 
first, the eating of food which is too rich and nourishing, and, 
secondly, the overloading of the stomach. These, as a natural 
sequence, are the promoters of indigestion or dyspepsia, which 
is the forerunner of a great variety of complaints, more 
particularly in those who are of a thriving constitution, with 
a natural tendency to obesity. Such people, if they partake 
too freely of the good things of this life, are prone to gout 
and rheumatism and other kindred ailments, and more par- 
ticularly if they lead an inactive and sedentary life. Perhaps 
the next great evil is the want of sufficient fresh air and out- 
of-door exercise. Close confinement is a great enemy to health, 
without which life becomes a weary burden. Calisthenics, or 
even athletic exercise, if used in moderation, invigorate the 
human frame and give strength and vitality to those who 
without them would be weak and delicate. If, then, the science 
of physiology teaches us that these things are to be duly 
regarded, in order that we may enjoy good and uninterrupted 
health, how much more necessary is it that they should be fully 

The Canary tiook. 

considered and carefully weighed in administering to the 
wants and necessities of our feathered captives who are 
constant prisoners? 

CAUSES OP DISEASE. As I have already stated, many 
illnesses are brought on by over-feeding, others are engendered 
through neglect. Some fanciers give their birds egg and bread, 
chickweed, cabbage, lettuce, dandelion, groundsel, &c., in un- 
measured quantities, and the birds amuse themselves, after 
having satiated their appetites, by throwing the former into 
the bottom of their cages, and by pulling the green food inside 
as well. This is the result of giving birds more food than 
they can possibly consume in one day. In the course of a 
few days it becomes sour ; and if they partake of it, as they 
will do at times, the consequences which usually ensue are 
cases of diarrhoea, or, still worse, inflammation of the bowels 
or intestines, which, if not promptly attended to, result in 
death. Others, again, give them sour greens, or bad water, 
or allow the water to remain in the troughs until it gets 
loathsome and unfit for use. These, and similar causes of 
neglect, produce more than half the illnesses from which birds 
die. Therefore, remember the adage referred to at the 
beginning of this chapter. Indeed, I think it would not be 
a bad plan if fanciers would adopt it for a motto, and have 
it painted in large characters upon their bird-room doors. 

FOOD. Always supply your birds with plain, wholesome diet, 
but never pamper them with dainties, except in such cases as 
I have pointed out. Be particular always to procure the best 
canary seed, and genuine German summer rape seed, and give 
in the proportion of three parts of canary to one of rape; 
occasionally you may give a little linseed and a few groats, 
and from April to September a little fresh green food, either 
watercress, groundsel, or lettuce. Dandelion leaves may be 
given sometimes, but they ought to be well washed and 
immersed in water for a few hours previously. In winter time 
a little sweet apple, with the rind taken off, may be given 
them once a week. When in health, and not breeding, they 

Diseases. 123 

require no other food, except to prepare them for exhibition. 
Let them have as much fresh air as possible, and be sure to 
give them fresh water every day, or every alternate day. If 
there be any reason to doubt the purity of the water you 
give the birds to drink, it is a good plan to filter rain water 
for their use. Let the cages be roomy, and clean them 
out frequently. Use sea sand when procurable, as the salt 
which it contains is beneficial to them ; if you cannot succeed 
in getting it, prepare your sand in the manner pointed out 
in the chapter on " Canary Breeding." By observing these 
recommendations you will seldom be troubled with diseased or 
ailing birds. 

It is a mistaken kindness on the part of many well-meaning, 
warm-hearted fanciers, to pamper their birds with every con- 
ceivable luxury, and they little dream of the consequences 
which are sure to follow such a line of treatment. It will 
readily be seen that I am strongly opposed to feeding canaries 
on delicacies ; so I am, and ere I proceed further I will illus- 
trate my meaning by quoting the following facts : It is well 
known to a great many fanciers that people who keep canaries 
merely as singing birds, and who are totally unacquainted 
with many of the dainties that are frequently given to them, 
and who believe that all they require is canary and rape 
seed mixed, fresh water, and clean sand once a week after 
their cages are cleaned out, manage to keep their birds until 
they attain great ages. I have known one bird live to the 
age of twenty-three years, another to twenty-one years, and a 
third to eighteen years; but the most remarkable part of the 
story is that these birds were all living at the same time, and 
kept by three different families in the same village, and within 
a hundred yards of each other. This fact I will vouch for; 
and I found on enquiry that they were fed upon canary and 
rape seed, principally, commonly called black and white bird 
seed, occasionally a little apple, and during the summer months 
a little green food given sparingly, which latter consisted of 
either watercress, groundsel, or lettuce; each bird had a knob 
of loaf sugar constantly placed between the wires of his cage, 

124 The Canary Book. 

had fresh water given twice or thrice a week, regularly cleaned 
out once a week, and received a fresh supply of river sand at 
the same time. I bred a nest of birds early in the spring 
of 1859, between a Belgian Canary and a Lizard, and 1 pre- 
sented one of their offspring to an intimate friend for a singing- 
bird: it was living in 1875, and in excellent health. It was 
fed on simple food; in fact, very similar to that given to the 
three birds previously mentioned. 

APOPLEXY. There are several kinds of this fearful disease. 
There is the atrabilious, cataleptic, hydrocephalic, &c. They 
are, nevertheless, all of them of such a tendency as to lead 
to a fatal termination in the lives of birds, as it would be 
physically impossible to subject these minute objects to a 
process of treatment similar to that resorted to in human 
beings. Prevention is the best substitute for cure. The most 
fruitful source of this complaint in birds is luxurious living, 
and intemperance in diet. Male canaries which are permitted 
to revel in Mormonism to any extent are likewise prone to 
it. If you are present at any time when a canary drops 
from its perch in a fit, and lies struggling at the bottom 
of the cage in apparent agony, lift it gently out and carry 
it to an open window, bathe its head with cold water, and 
if there should happen to be any spirit of ammonia (harts- 
horn) at hand, or to be procured readily, dilute a little of 
this with cold water, and let the bird inhale the vapour. 
Should it revive, keep it cool and quiet for some time, and 
afterwards give it some laxative medicine. You might give 
it two drops of castor-oil to begin with, and about dr. of 
Epsom salts might be put in its drinking water. The diet 
of the patient should be of the simplest and plainest descrip- 
tion, more especially if the bird is of a full habit of body. 
There is likewise a species of apoplexy which is produced 
by the effect of the sun's rays this is called coup de soldi. 
I have known birds hung in a window where the sun has 
poured upon them during the hottest days in summer, but, 

Diseases. 125 

fortunately, in most cases, with the upper sash of the window 
lowered to let in the fresh air. Many birds, die from this 
cause alone, and I wonder that there are not far more. 

ASTHMA. This is a complaint from which a great number 
of canaries suffer. It not ^infrequently proceeds from a here- 
ditary disposition, the result of breeding with birds affected 
with this disease ; and I notice, with regret, that it is much 
more prevalent at the present time than it was twenty years 
ago. This, I am disposed to think, results in a great measure 
from keeping show birds constantly covered, as some fanciers 
do, during certain months in the year, with the idea that it 
preserves their colour and keeps them clean. To some extent, 
no doubt, this is so; but I do not approve of the practice 
being carried to such an extent as to impair health. Birds 
subjected to this treatment are frequently sent long journeys, 
and often during the most severe and inclement weather, and 
are therefore so much more liable to be affected by atmos- 
pheric changes, which is another frequent cause of this very 
troublesome and tedious disorder. Derangement of the stomach 
and bowels, or profuse evacuations, may likewise produce it. 

This malady can be distinguished from consumption by 
the periodical character of its attacks, and the wheezing 
sound which always accompanies it is a characteristic symptom 
that can scarcely be mistaken. Asthma, like consumption, 
varies in its symptoms; in fact, there are three distinct kinds 
of this disease; but I do not think it necessary for me to 
revert to them separately in this instance, as no one, other 
than a medical practitioner, could possibly distinguish between 
one form of the malady and another, and even they in such 
cases, had they bird patients, would at times be sorely puzzled. 
When it first occurs, if it is not complicated with other 
diseases and is dealt with vigorously, it can be cured; but if 
it once becomes chronic no hope need be entertained of a 
perfect recovery. When any organic disease exists, according 
to the organ affected, asthma may terminate in inflammation 
and dilatation of the bronchi, emphysema and oedema, con- 
sumption, dropsy of the chest, apoplexy, <fec. 

126 The Canary Book. 

Birds suffering from asthma should be fed on a light f 
nutritive diet. A cake made of the following ingredients and 
well baked will be found very suitable to their requirements: 
Take sound wheat flour, lb. ; the best arrowroot, Jib. ; four 
fresh-laid eggs, and 4oz. of powdered loaf sugar ; mix well 
together, and add half-a-pint of new milk; make into a cake 
in the ordinary way; a little of this should be placed between 
the wires of the cage, or crumbed and placed in the egg 
drawer for the use of the patient. It should be given fresh 
daily. A piece of dandelion-root, previously dried and roasted, 
should be scalded, and, when cool, the liquid should be drained 
off and given to the bird instead of ordinary water to drink ; 
this will be found very beneficial. Warmth is indispensable 
in the treatment of this complaint, and it is not advisable to 
place the invalid in a damp room; particular attention should 
be paid to birds suffering from this vexatious disease during 
foggy or rainy weather. 

In all diseases, but more especially in this, much depends 
upon the time when the treatment is commenced; when once 
constant dyspnoea (difficult breathing) is induced, depending 
upon organic disease, little more can be done than to palliate 
symptoms. Whenever a bird is seized with a sudden paroxysm, 
with much wheezing and oppression of breathing, give the 
following mixture with as little delay as possible : Ethereal 
tincture of lobelia, ten drops; compound tincture of camphor, 
one drachm ; syrup of ginger, three drachms ; cinnamon water, 
one ounce; put two teaspoonfuls of this mixture to two 
ounces of water, give it to the birds to drink in place of their 
ordinary drinking water, and continue its use until the most 
distressing symptoms have subsided; the dose may then be 
reduced to one-half, and increased whenever the breathing 
appears difficult until the symptoms have entirely disappeared. 
Should the mixture recommended fail to give permanent 
relief, give the patient a few drops of vin. antimon. tart, 
(antimonial wine) and tr. hyosciami (tincture of henbane), say, 
ten drops of each to one fluid ounce of water, to be given 
according to the directions laid down in reference to the 

Diseases. 127 

preceding mixture; this I have found most serviceable, even 
in obstinate cases. I have likewise found the following pre- 
paration very efficacious in prolonged and difficult cases : 
Tinct. of aconite Idr., tinct. of belladonna Idr., sp. of ether 
nit. 2dr. Mix and give ten drops to each fluid ounce of 
drinking water, in place of the ordinary drinking water, to be 
renewed every alternate day. It is necessary to pay particular 
attention to the bowels of the sufferer, and a gentle purgative 
should be given when required; a little of the carbonate of 
magnesia, or, in some cases a few drops of molasses (treacle) 
put into the drinking-water, will have the desired effect. By 
following up the treatment recommended here, all cases of 
recent date should be cured, and even cases of long standing, 
and which are so thoroughly confirmed as to defy all remedies, 
can be greatly relieved, and the life of a bird suffering from 
this tiresome complaint may be prolonged for a considerable 
period, for this disease is not nearly so fatal in its effects as 
consumption; but unless a bird is a prize-taker, and valuable 
on this account, it is probably not worth while to persevere 
with chronic cases of asthma, as it is certainly incurable. 

BEAKS AND CLAWS, OVERGROWN. See under " Claws," and 
also p. 79. 
BOWELS, INFLAMMATION OP. See under "Enteritis." 

BROKEN LIMBS. It happens occasionally that a canary has 
the misfortune to break one of its legs. When an untoward 
event of this kind takes place, remove the perches from the 
cage in which the bird is placed; supply their places with a 
nice clean bed, made with soft hay or straw (the former 
preferred), cut it into short lengths and tease it well out, and 
remove anything of a hard or prickly nature that may by 
accident have been placed amongst it; make it as smooth as 
possible in the centre for the bird to rest upon, and in a few 
weeks the limb will become perfectly sound. Nothing further 
need be done, as the fracture will heal by the process knowp 

128 The Canary Book. 

in surgery by the name of adhesion. It will be necessary, 
however, for you to supply the invalid with food and water, 
and these should be put into suitable vessels, and placed in 
such a position that the bird can supply its wants without 
being necessitated to move about for them. Place the cage 
containing the patient where there is a good and clear light. 

BRONCHITIS. In an attack of this complaint the bird looks 
feverish, is very restless, and frequently drinks; among other 
symptoms are a dry husky cough and much difficulty in 
breathing, accompanied by a rattling noise in the throat. 
Bronchitis usually arises from a neglected cold. 

Keep the patient warm. Three-parts fill a large basin with 
hot water, place across it two pieces of wood, then stand the 
cage containing the invalid on these, and cover all with a 
piece of flannel, the object being to give a steam bath. If 
the attack is a bad one add to the water ten drops of carbolic 
acid and twenty-five drops of turpentine, but in this case thin 
calico or muslin should be used as a cover instead of the 
flannel. The operation should last from twenty to thirty 
minutes, and be repeated twice daily for three or four days. 
Prepare and give the following : Boil 2 table-spoonfuls of 
linseed in a teacupful of water, strain the juice through a 
piece of muslin, and add to this 2dr. of the best Spanish 
juice, Idr. of gum arabic crushed to powder and dissolved 
in a little warm water, 2dr. of glycerine, and a dessert-spoonful 
of the best moor honey*; put a teaspoonful of this mixture 
to 3 table- spoonfuls of water, and give it fresh to the birds 
every morning. If the birds operated upon have been accus- 
tomed to a room without a fire, it will be necessary to keep 
them in a warm room until they are quite convalescent, and 
before they are again returned to it great precaution is 
necessary. The patients should be gradually removed to a 
part of the room farthest from the fire, and if the weather 

* At a certain period of the year many beekeepers send their hives of beea 
on to waste or moor lands, when wild flowers and the heather, &c., are in 
blossom. The honey obtained in this way is considered the best, and is known 
in the North of England by the name of " Moor honey." 

Diseases. 129 

will permit of it, the window of the room should be opened 
for an hour or so for two or three days prior to their removaJ. 

CATARACT AND OPHTHALMIA. See under " Ophthalmia and 

CATARRH, OR COLD. This complaint is most frequently 
brought on by birds having to travel long journeys during 
cold and inclement weather, and more particularly is this the 
case if a bird has been kept in a warm room, either at home 
or during the time it has been at a show. At most shows 
the rooms are allowed to get over-heated, especially at night 
when a large number of gaslights are usually employed and 
visitors are most numerous. The symptoms are : First, 
sneezing, then a dullness in the eyes, ruffled feathers, and a 
general " knocked-about " sort of a look. Sometimes there 
is a swelling about the eyes and a watery discharge. 

This complaint requires prompt action, or it will probably 
develop into something more serious. Remove the patient to 
a warm room, and exclude all draughts. Prepare some linseed 
tea by simmering 2 table-spoonfuls of linseed in a teacupful 
of boiling water for twenty minutes, when cold it is fit for 
use. Give fifteen drops of the following mixture to each ounce 
of linseed tea, in place of the ordinary drinking water : Tinct. 
of lobelia Idr., vin. ipecac. Idr., tinct. aconite dr., glycerine 
3dr. The patient should be dieted on hard-boiled eggs and 
bread, with a slight sprinkling of cayenne pepper, and from 
twenty to thirty drops of almond oil. If this treatment is 
not successful in the course of a few days, give the following 
in place of the first-named formula: Tinct. aconite Idr., tinct. 
belladonna Idr., oxymel soillie 2dr., sp. ether nit. 2dr. Mix 
well and give the same quantity and in the same manner as 
directed above. 

CHOREA. Chorea is a disease with which birds are some- 
times afflicted, but very rarely. I have only seen two cases 
of it, both in very " sib-bred " birds. The birds affected keep 


130 The Canary Book. 

continually turning their heads round in a very peculiar 
manner. It is the result of some nervous affection, or of a 
diseased organism. I know of no remedy for it, and birds so 
afflicted had better be destroyed. If such birds could be 
induced to breed, this might possibly remove the malady, but 
in the case referred to, neither of them showed any disposition 
to mate with other birds. 

CLAWS AND BEAKS, OVERGROWN. I must not omit to state 
that all birds confined in cages require their claws cutting 
occasionally, some more frequently than others ; and their 
bills too sometimes, but this only in exceptional cases. These 
operations should be performed with a pair of small, but sharp 
scissors. Great care is required not to cut too much off their 
claws to make them bleed, or you might lame the birds ; neither 
must you cut any more off the bill of a bird than is absolutely 
necessary. This is a delicate operation, and should only be 
performed by an experienced person. These little attentions 
conduce greatly both to the health and comfort of birds. (See 
also p. 79). 

CONSTIPATION. This can be relieved by putting a few drops 
of molasses in the bird's drinking water, or by giving it a 
plentiful supply of green food if during the summer months; 
if in the winter, a little white bread sopped in milk and well 
sweetened with moist sugar, or a little prepared egg food, with 
a few drops of castor or almond oil added, may be placed in 
the egg-pan for the use of the birds, and a little green food, 
if seasonable at the time when required; if not, supply a 
little scalded German (summer) rape seed. 

of the most difficult diseases to contend with, and one with 
which birds are frequently affected, is phthisis, or pulmonary 
consumption, and those most prone to this malady are the 
Belgian, Dutch, and Lancashire Canaries. It is generally con- 
tracted during the time the birds are moulting, although, no 
doubt, in many instances it results from breeding from parents 
affected with this complaint. It may originate through allowing 

Diseases. 131 

the birds to bathe too frequently whilst they are casting their 
feathers, as at this time they are, to a greater or lesser extent, 
more delicate in health, and consequently much more liable 
to take cold than under ordinary circumstances; or it may 
be produced through negligence or forgetfulness by leaving 
the window of the bird-room open all night, particularly in 
foggy or damp weather, or through the birds being placed in 
a current of air (a draught). It generally begins with catarrh or 
a common cold, and the first symptom usually observed is a 
sort of wheezing noise, or what may be designated, and probably 
is, a bird cough. As soon as you observe a bird making this 
noise, you may safely conclude that it has a bad cold, and 
you ought to remove it to a warm room, and cover the cage 
partly to keep it cosy. Nourishing food should be given to 
it at once; a little hard-boiled egg, chopped very small, and 
a little arrowroot biscuit should be grated and mixed with it, 
and a piece of gum acacia about the size of a pea should be 
dissolved in its drinking water, and likewise a small piece of 
Spanish liquorice, or a weak infusion of linseed, given in place 
of the drinking water. If these precautions are neglected, the 
bird will most probably get worse, become languid, and look 
dull and h'eavy about the eyes, and will gradually become 
weak and lose its flesh, and ultimately be seized with diarrhoea, 
which, if neglected, soon terminates in death. Great prompt- 
ness is necessary in the first stage of this disease, which 
does not always appear in the same form, although catarrh is 
generally the forerunner of it. Its action upon birds varies 
the same as in human beings, and some linger under its 
influence much longer than others ; however, if it once becomes 
fairly established in any form, and latent phthisis or tubercular 
phthisis sets in, there is no remedy for it. 

It may, however, even when very bad, be considerably allayed 
by proper attention and treatment ; nourishing diet and warmth 
are essentials which cannot be dispensed with. A little white 
bread sopped in warm new milk may be given with advantage 
in this stage of the disease, but care must be taken not to 
allow it to get sour. A little tincture of digitalis (foxglove) 

K 2 

132 The Canary Book. 

should be given fresh every day in the bird's drinking-water, say, 
from fifteen to twenty drops to a wineglassful of water; this 
diminishes the force of the heart's action, although, if given 
too frequently, and particularly in overdoses, it is apt to 
produce unpleasant and dangerous symptoms, and ought there- 
fore to be given with extreme caution. The bowels, too, should 
be kept gently open; this can be accomplished by mixing a 
very small quantity of the carbonate of magnesia in the 
drinking water (a very small piece upon the point of a knife 
will be sufficient); or two, three, or four senna leaves in the 
water will have the desired effect. In chronic cases, a few 
grains of the hydriodate of potass may be given with 
advantage ; but I prefer a little tr. opii camph. (paregoric) 
and a few drops of the oxymel of squills, say, fifteen to twenty 
drops of each to a wineglassful of water, given instead of the 
ordinary drinking water: sometimes a little cod-liver oil is 
beneficial, but I have always found the other treatment to 
answer best. The last-mentioned remedies are only to be given 
in confirmed cases of this disease. If diarrhoea sets in, a few 
drops of elixir of vitriol and a little infusion of gentian must 
be given in the drinking water twenty drops of the former 
and two teaspoonfuls of the latter, which you must prepare 
fresh every three or four days. Get a pennyworth of gentian- 
root, take a piece the size of a bean and cut small, put it in 
a mug or jug with about an equal bulk of orange rind, and 
pour about one-fourth of a pint of boiling water on it; when 
cool, strain off and use. The addition of a teaspoonful of 
brandy would preserve it a little longer, and would add to 
its medicinal virtues. If the purging is severe, a little prepared 
chalk and loaf sugar added to the egg and biscuit diet would 
prove useful, but, as I have stated before, unless you can 
check this disease in its first stage, there is little hope of a 
perfect cure, so that it becomes a question as to whether it is 
worth while to prolong the life of a bird under these circum- 
stances. Bleeding and blistering, which are frequently resorted 
to with excellent results in the case of men, cannot of course 
be applied to little, delicate birds. 

Diseases. 133 

COUGH. See under " Consumption." 

CRAMP. All birds are more or less liable to this troublesome 
complaint ; sometimes it attacks the limbs, at other times the 
stomach. It may arise from a vitiated state of the bile, or 
from having eaten something indigestible. The most effectual 
remedy I know of is, when in the limbs, to immerse them in 
warm water and administer some gentle aperient. When in 
the stomach, give twenty drops of antimonial wine and ten 
drops of laudanum to one-and-a-half ounces of water, in place 
of the regular drinking water. 


DECLINE. " Going light," or " wasting away," as many 
fanciers are pleased to term this disease, is hereditary in most 
cases, and caused by breeding from diseased parents. It is 
only the final stage of consumption (see p. 130), or gradual 
decay engendered by that disorder. 

DEFORMED HIND CLAW. This deformity is attributable to 
a contraction of the flexor tendon of the hind claw, which 
may result from a variety of causes. It is much more pre- 
valent than it was a few years ago, a fact for which I am 
quite unable to account. Treatment : Bind back the affected 
claw firmly to the shank of the leg with a piece of silk thread, 
worsted, or cotton, but not so tight as to interfere with the cir- 
culation. In the course of a fortnight or so the binding may 
be cut, and the contracted claw liberated. A cure should be 
effected in this time. If the remedy is not applied for some 
time after the deformity is observed, a longer time, say three 
weeks, will be necessary to effect a cure. If the contraction is 
allowed to go on for months without the application of a 
remedy, it may be necessary to amputate the toe, but if 
attended to at once a cure is certain. 

DIARRHCEA. This term is used to express laxness of the 
bowels and purging. It is a symptom more than a disease, 
for it depends upon irritation of the stomach or bowels, which 
may arise from a variety of causes, the principal being cold. 

134 The Canary Book. 

or indigestible articles of food, or bad water, or anything 
producing acidity of the stomach or an over- secretion of bile. 
Too much green food will produce it, especially if it is unripe 
or decayed, sour egg and bread, &c. It may also, and no doubt 
does frequently, arise from inflammation of the mucous mem- 
brane of the intestines. This disorder consists in watery 
motions from the bowels, of frequent occurrence, and which 
are usually foetid, and are mixed with portions of undigested 
food, &c. 

The treatment depends greatly upon the cause of the dis- 
order. If it depends on checked perspiration or cold, a small 
quantity of Dover's Powder say, from two to three grains to 
an ounce of gum water, very weak may be substituted for 
the regular drinking water ; and two drops of castor-oil should 
be given internally on the point of a knitting needle; warm 
the needle before you put it in the oil. If the bowels appear 
inflamed, alternate the former with water containing twenty 
drops of antimonial wine to each fluid ounce. If it depends 
on indigestible food, put a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda 
into three ounces of cinnamon water, and give in place of the 
ordinary drinking water and the dose of castor- oil as pre- 
viously recommended. If the purging still continues, mix a 
dessert-spoonful of chalk mixture with a wineglassf ul of water, 
add twenty drops of laudanum, and give it in the manner 
already pointed out. For the chalk mixture take of prepared 
chalk, half-an-ounce (procurable at any chemist's) ; refined 
sugar (loaf sugar), three drachms ; gum arabic, powdered, one 
ounce ; water, one pint ; mix them by trituration. If this 
fails to check the looseness, a few drops, say, thirty or forty, 
of tincture of catechu may be added to the last-named mix- 
ture, which will generally be found to have the desired effect. 
The diet should consist principally of arrowroot biscuits sopped 
with new milk. After the purging has ceased the bowels 
should be carefully regulated by giving a little magnesia, or 
a senna leaf or two, in the drinking water ; and as the loose- 
ness, if of any duration, is sure to weaken the patient, a little 
tonic medicine will be necessary for a few weeks after recovery 

Diseases. 135 

from the attack. The best and simplest is the infusion of 
gentian, which can be given in the drinking water in the pro- 
portions of a teaspoonful of the former to a tablespoonful of 
the latter. Diarrhoea also occurs in the last stage of con- 
sumption, &c. ; but in such cases little can be done to alleviate 
it, as checking it is sure to aggravate the other symptoms of 
the disease. 

DIPHTHERIA. This complaint, which is not very prevalent 
in canaries, affects the head and throat. The mucous membrane 
becomes thickly coated with secreted matter, and the throat 
and tongue ulcerated. It is, however, very contagious, hence 
a bird discovered to be suffering from this disease should at 
once be isolated, and, if not valuable, it will be well to destroy 
it in order to stamp out the malady. In valuable specimens 
the following treatment should be adopted. Use a lotion 
to the throat made as follows : 2 drachms of cupri. sulph. 
dissolved in 4oz. of rain water, and apply to the throat with 
a feather, turning it carefully round a few times before being 
withdrawn. Give for internal use as follows : Loaf sugar, 
burnt brown, 2oz., sulphate of iron 2 scruples, sulphate of 
magnesia 2 scruples, sulphate of soda 2 drachms, chloride of 
sodium \ drachm, water 6oz. Mix in a mortar, add twenty drops 
of this to each ounce of water, to be given in place of the 
usual drinking water; or the following, 20 drops of Calvert's 
pure carbolic acid, 1 drachm of spirit of wine, and 6oz. of 
water; dose, twenty drops to each ounce of water, as before 

DYSENTERY. The symptoms first observed in this disorder 
are a dullness and want of energy in the bird attacked, and 
it is usually much relaxed in its bowels for a day or two; 
then the evacuations become scant and thin, and consist prin- 
cipally of a little thick mucus tinged with blood, and there is 
much straining, and evidently severe griping pains as the poor 
patients cling close to the perches, and move from side to 
side in a manner that suggests great agony. Warmth, quiet, 
and light nourishing diet are essential a little white bread 

136 The Canary Book. 

or arrowroot biscuit soaked in warm milk, with a few drops 
of sherry wine added, may be given fresh twice a day as the 
sole diet until the symptoms begin to disappear, and the bird 
to recover ; then a tablespoonful of a mixture of oatmeal, 
ground linseed, and white bread in equal parts, and a sixth part 
of the yolk of an egg boiled for ten minutes, made into a 
moderately-thick paste with warm water, may be substituted, 
and renewed daily until recovery is complete. For further 
treatment: Give from fifteen to twenty drops of the following 
mixture to each ounce of water in place of the ordinary drinking 
water: Yin. ipecac. 2dr., vin. antimon. 2 dr., tinct. belladonna 
Idr., tinct. opii. Idr., sp. aether nit. 2dr. 

This disease is generally brought about by the birds par- 
taking of sour egg or green food during hot weather, or it 
may result from an attack of typhus fever. I do not think 
it is contagious, but at the same time it is commendable to 
remove any affected bird from among others. A great many 
birds die from this complaint during intensely hot weather. 

EGG-BOUND. See Chap. II., on "Breeding and Manage- 

sometimes a matter of great difficulty to discover the true 
cause of ailment in canaries affected with sudden illness ; but 
in acute or even chronic inflammation of the bowels, the symp- 
toms are readily distinguishable. Birds suffering from this 
disorder suddenly become listless and dull, and, according to 
the prognosis of this complaint, they suffer acute twitching 
pains in the abdomen, which cause them frequently to lie 
with their bodies upon the perches in their cages in their 
endeavour to procure ease. If you catch the bird, and blow 
back the feathers from the under part of the body, you will 
find that there is tension of the belly, and the external appear- 
ance of the skin is red, at first somewhat pale, but gradually 
deepening into a much darker colour, and, as the disease 

Diseases. 137 

progresses, becoming intensely red, with a blackish hue beneath. 
It is generally accompanied with obstinate constipation, though 
sometimes there is diarrhoea. If the inflammation be in the 
upper part of the intestines, the bird frequently throws out 
of its mouth, with a " chit, chit ! " some dark, bilious-looking 
matter; but if in the lower intestines, there is straining, and 
a frequent desire to go to stool. Sometimes it happens that 
the tongue of the patient is completely covered with sores, 
and a disinclination to partake of food is the result. A small 
piece of borax, finely powdered and put upon the tongue, will 
mostly give relief when a bird is found to be suffering in this 

Thirst becomes urgent as the inflammation increases; but 
cold drinks only increase the pain. Inflammation of the 
bowels or, as it is sometimes called by writers on birds, 
" rupture " is a complaint from which many young birds die, 
and occasionally old ones. It is produced, I assume, in most 
instances, by partaking of unwholesome food, such as sour 
egg and bread or decayed vegetables, and in some cases by 
bad or impure water, or by over- gorging with egg, &c. When 
egg and bread have been thrown about the cage by adult 
birds, or a lettuce-leaf, a piece of groundsel, chickweed, or 
other vegetable of a like nature, and allowed to remain until 
sour or decayed, the birds partaking of them are pretty cer- 
tain to suffer from disorder in the bowels and intestines, and 
ultimately from inflammation. 

The treatment of enteritis requires to be active and imme- 
diate. Bleeding, blistering, and leeching cannot be resorted to 
with such delicate little patients as canaries ; but a little tur- 
pentine, made tolerably hot, and applied with a camel or hogs'- 
hair brush to the inflamed part of the abdomen, will be found 
to give considerable relief to the sufferer. The bowels must 
likewise be acted upon by administering internally two or three 
drops of castor-oil. After they have been freely evacuated 
you may give the bird to drink, in place of its ordinary water, 
a little thin gum-water (gum arable), to which has been 
added ten drops of tr. opii (laudanum) and twenty drops of 

138 The Canary Book. 

vin. ipecac, (ipecacuanha wine) to each ounce of the former. Any 
sudden change from heat to cold, or from a cold room to a 
hot one, or placing before a fire, is to be avoided, as it would 
only tend to increase the symptoms and feed the complaint; 
a moderate and uniform temperature is the best. A light diet 
must always be given in cases of internal inflammation; a 
little arrowroot biscuit, steeped in warm new milk, and given 
fresh twice a day, or a little oatmeal, which has been lightly 
browned in the oven and made into a paste with a little honey 
and gum-water, may be alternated with the former. 

If you succeed in restoring the bird to health, it will require 
a little tonic medicine for a few weeks after its restoration, 
such as iron and gentian; a rusty nail should be placed in 
the water-trough, with a few drops of either the infusion or 
tincture of gentian added. If, however, the disease will not 
yield to these remedies, as occasionally happens, and suppu- 
ration intervenes, with frequent involuntary shivering, and 
the bird discharges fo3tid stools of a reddish, watery appear- 
ance, and the poor little patient seeks to bury its head deeper 
and deeper beneath its wing, and persistently hustles itself 
into a solitary corner of its cage, there is but small hope of 
its recovery, for gangrene most probably has set in, and will 
soon terminate the life of the little sufferer. 

EPILEPSY. There are three different species of this dis- 
ease the cerebral, the sympathetic, and the occasional. The 
one from which birds most frequently suffer is the last-named. 
The predisposing cause seems to be a nervous tendency, allied 
with a delicate constitution, and is probably the result of 
continual confinement. The fits are generally brought on 
whenever a bird, subject to this ailment, is surprised or 
frightened; anything likely to create terror must be carefully 
guarded against. I have known birds subject to these fits go 
off in one every time they were brought into the open air, 
or every time a hand was put in the cage to take hold of 
them. Whenever a bird is seized with one of these occasional 
fits, sprinkle it freely all over with cold water, but more par- 
ticularly about the head ; dip your fingers into a basin of 

Diseases. 1 39 

water and dash it vigorously over the affected bird. It is 
not considered a dangerous complaint, although, if it occurs 
frequently, it is very apt to impair the health of birds, and 
predispose them to disease. A mild aperient given occasionally, 
with a little tonic medicine besides, such as the carbonate of 
iron, quinine, infusion of quassia, or gentian, are the best 
remedies. Some birds are very subject to this disorder during 
the moulting period. 


FAINTING OR SYNCOPE. See under " Syncope or Fainting." 
FAINTING FITS. Some birds are subject to fits, a species of 
hysteric or epileptic fits, and they go into them whenever they 
are caught, or in some instances on being exposed to the open 
air, or simply by removing the cage. It is undoubtedly a 
complaint affecting the nerves. When a bird takes a fit of 
this sort, dash a little cold water over it by dipping your 
fingers in a basin of cold water; this will generally restore 
it in a few minutes. See also under "Epilepsy." 

FEATHER-EATING. This pernicious habit is acquired when 
several birds are placed together in a large cage or aviary 
to moult. No doubt heat of the body and an itching of 
the skin is engendered during this process, and creates a 
desire to pluck out the feathers which produce the derange- 
ment. It is believed by some fanciers to originate through 
a liking for the taste of blood, but I think it is often done 
through mischief and wantonness on the part of some birds. 
A bath given frequently and a plentiful supply of grit and 
crushed egg-shells (the shells taken from the boiled eggs of 
fowls), liberally sprinkled at the bottom of the cage or aviary, 
with a moderate supply of fresh green food, and pieces of 
apple and loaf sugar placed between the wires of the cages, 
are the best preventives of this vicious and objectionable 

FEET, SORE. See under "Sore Feet," and also on p. 79. 
FEVER, TYPHUS. See under " Typhus Fever." 

140 The Canary Book. 


" GOING LIGHT." See " Decline." 


HENS, RUPTURED. See under "Ruptured Hens." 

more especially young birds, are subject to this dreadful malady. 
It is produced by their partaking too freely of stimulating 
food, particularly hemp seed, which acts as a very powerful 
excitant when given to birds, and is with them a very feed- 
ing article of diet. I have had a great number of canaries 
and canary mules, and other birds, die from this disease ; but 
at the time I was unable to determine its nature. I thought 
it was some form of fever, but whether typhus or what I 
could not be certain. I tried a variety of medicines and 
different modes of treatment, but without any apparent 
success; and, after losing twenty or thirty birds one season, 
and forty or fifty the next, and as many more the next, I 
decided to have the opinion of some eminent and practical 
physician on the subject, so I sent one of the unfortunate 
little victims to Dr. B. for dissection and report as to the 
cause of death. I subjoin his reply, which is as follows : 

Dear Sir, With the exception of an enormously enlarged liver, I 
can find nothing the matter with the canary. The exception is a very 
important one, as I believe it is the cause of death. Of course, not 
being learned in birds, you must accept what I say as that of one 
who does not pretend to speak with authority. Yet, from the utter 
disproportion of the liver with the other organs, I believe it to be, 
as I have said above, the cause of death. No inflammation exists 
in the intestines or stomach. 

Perhaps you can call to mind how the ortolans* are caused to have 
auoh large livers, for gastronomic purposes. They are supplied with 
abundance of stimulating food, and kept in a warm place. Has this 
not something to do with the mortality amongst your birds ? I am, 
dear Sir, faithfully yours, C. B., M.D. 

* Ortolans are birds about the size of larks, and somewhat of the appearance 
of yellow-hammers. They are allied to the Fringillidce, and are natives of 
southern Europe. 

Diseases. 1 4 1 

I had been in the habit, for some time previous to this, of 
giving my birds hemp seed ad libitum, but as soon as 1 
received the letter already quoted I set to work to make 
experiments, in order to test the accuracy of the opinion I 
had received, and the idea I had formed, the result of which 
leaves no doubt whatever in my mind that the hemp seed 
was chiefly, if not solely the cause of all the mischief. Two 
of the birds I experimented upon recovered, after a severe 
attack of this complaint, the disease having yielded to the 
remedies used, whilst three others succumbed, and, upon 
being opened and carefully examined, their condition was 
precisely as described by Dr. B. From that time I ceased 
to give my birds hemp seed, and have not had a single case 
of hepatitis since. 

Inflammation of the liver is of two kinds the acute and 
the chronic ; when of the former type it makes rapid progress, 
unless it is immediately dealt with. Depletion (blood-letting) 
is one of the first things resorted to in cases of hepatitis 
in regular practice, but this operation is out of the question 
entirely with such diminutive patients as canaries. Never- 
theless, I am such a thorough believer in phlebotomy in all 
cases where internal inflammation exists, that I generally pull 
a couple of the largest flight feathers from each wing of the 
bird, as well as a few of the tail feathers, and, although 
you seldom draw much blood with performing this operation, 
I am disposed to think that it does good. At the commence- 
ment of this disease the bird droops, and looks lumpy and 
fretful and restless, and when suffering from the acute form 
there is generally a considerable amount of feverishness. The 
bird appears to perspire very much, is very hot in the body, 
particularly restless, and appears in search of something it 
fails to find. When, however, this disease makes its appear- 
ance in the chronic form, the symptoms are developed more 
gradually and with less violence, but for all that it is quite 
as difficult of cure. The treatment pursued by me, and with 
tolerable success, is as follows : Give, first, hydrarg. (hydrar- 
gyrum) cum creta (mercury with chalk) and James' Powder 

142 The Canary Book. 

in equal parts in infinitesimal doses; open the bird's beak 
as wide as possible, keep the tongue down and the head well 
back, and, having the powder in a piece of writing-paper, 
made funnel-shape, slip it well down into the throat, and 
drop a few drops of water upon it to help the patient to 
swallow before you allow it to move from the position in 
which it has been placed in order to administer the medicine, 
or the powder may be placed in a piece of quill, cut open 
at both ends, carefully put in the bird's mouth, and gently 
blown into the throat of the patient. In the next place, roast 
a piece of dandelion-root, which has been previously washed 
and scraped, and put it in the drinking water. About an hour 
after you give the powder follow it up by giving two or three 
drops of castor-oil, and if it does not operate freely in a 
short time say, from half-an-hour to an hour repeat the 
dose. You may likewise add a few senna leaves to the drinking- 
water, as well as the dandelion-root. In all cases of inflamma- 
tion of the liver it is necessary to act promptly upon the 
bowels and intestines, as in this disease, in either form, the 
biliary secretion is much impeded, and even when restored the 
fluid is far from healthy at the beginning. On this account, 
and to prevent chronic indurations, or the chance of present 
suppuration, it is necessary to reinstate the biliary secretions 
as soon as possible. This can only be effected by such medi- 
cines as act on the biliary organs, such as the hydrarg. chlor. 
(calomel), James' Powder, &c. 

The diet should consist chiefly of stale bread soaked in new 
milk, or a little arrowroot biscuit and ground rice made into 
a paste with the same vehicle. In some cases, however, these 
means may and will prove unavailing, and more particularly 
if the bird affected is not of a robust constitution. 

If the hepatic tumour continue to grow, despite these 
remedies, the bird will become weaker and weaker; it will 
pine away to a mere skeleton, the shiver ings become more 
frequent, and it will have a sour, sweaty smell. This is a 
sign that suppuration has begun, and the treatment must be 
changed. Remove the dandelion-root and senna-leaves, and 

Diseases. 143 

add to the drinking-water instead twenty or thirty drops of 
antimonial wine. Should this fail to relieve it there is no 
hope of its recovery. Mortification sets in, the body 
a dark, livid appearance, and death speedily follows. 

INFLAMMATION OP THE BOWELS. See under "Enteritis." 
INFLAMMATION OF THE LIVER. See under " Hepatitis." 
INFLAMMATION OF THE LUNGS. See under "Pneumonia." 

INTERNAL PARASITES. These parasites are generated in the 
locality of the heart and liver, and I have no doubt thousands 
of birds perish from this cause alone, but as to its origin^ 
that at present is problematical, and there is a wide field open 
for medical and scientific men to search after truth in that 
direction. I am of opinion that the cause arises from the use 
of an improper diet, and too much stimulating heat produced 
in feeding for colour. Another cause may be the want of a 
constant supply of grit, or from giving decayed seed or 
other unwholesome food. I know that many fanciers think 
it is produced by using some kinds of green food, and more 
particularly watercress. I do not care for the latter, as it 
is frequently grown in stagnant and filthy water, and is 
literally swarming with animal life, and requires strong treat- 
ment before being available for use. Birds affected with these 
pests often die quite suddenly, and to an unobservant fancier 
without showing any premonitary symptoms of disease. These 
insects, which are exceedingly minute, will be found on the 
liver and viscera of birds which fall victims to this disorder. 
The best remedies are probably a liberal and nutritious diet 
and abundance of fresh air, a large flight cage for exercise, 
and pure water. I think these parasites are generally only 
present in birds that are emaciated, or of weak and delicate 
constitutions, brought on by a bad moult or improper feeding. 


JOINTS, SWOLLEN. See under "Swollen Joints." 

144 77ie Canary Book. 

LIMBS, BROKEN. See tinder "Broken Limbs." 
. LIVER, INFLAMMATION OF THE. See under "Hepatitis." 

Loss OF YOICE. Canaries lose their voices sometimes, and 
this event takes place more frequently during the process of the 
moult than at any other season. I do not mean their ceasing 
to sing, for all birds stop singing at that time of year, but 
they are unable to say " pretty dick ! " or " peat ! " and when 
the season of song returns the voice of the bird is mute. It 
probably arises through cold, which may produce inflamma- 
tion of the respiratory organs or larynx, or it may originate 
from cramp, weakness, or paralysis. I have invariably found 
that a little gum arabic and a few drops of paregoric 
(twenty to thirty drops), put into the drinking-water twice 
or thrice a week, and a liberal supply of lettuce and linseed, 
mixed, given to a bird so affected, removes the complaint. 
When a bird is suffering from this affection he will distend 
his throat to the utmost of his power, and if otherwise in 
apparent good health he will throw his head back, open his 
bill to its widest extent, and, in fact, go systematically through 
all the movements usually made when singing, and with all 
the energy he can muster; but not a sound can be heard. A 
piece of rusty bacon fixed between the wires of the cage 
will be found of great benefit for this complaint ; another 
remedy, much prized by some fanciers, is to put half-a-tea- 
spoonful of honey in the drinking- vessel with the water, and 
to add a few drops of lemon-juice freshly squeezed out of 
a lemon. 

LUNGS, INFLAMMATION OF THE. See under "Pneumonia." 


OPHTHALMIA AND CATARACT. Within the past few years a 
great number of crested and crested-bred birds have suffered 
from this complaint. It has no doubt originated through 
the enlargement of the crest, encouraged by careful breeding, 

Diseases. \ 45 

which in high-class birds frequently covers the eyes, and 
thereby irritates them, causing inflammation, and it is among 
such birds that the disease is observed. To me it appears 
to have become to some extent hereditary in its tendency, 
affecting plain-heads bred from heavily-crested parents. This 
complaint is greatly on the increase, owing to the vast im- 
provement so far as crest is concerned which has been made 
within the past ten years in this variety. I am afraid there 
is no appreciable remedy; for to remove the cause would be 
to circumscribe the crests by introducing the blood of non- 
crest-bred birds, which would, I fear, be distasteful to the 
breeders of crested birds generally. 

When the first symptoms of this complaint are observed 
the eyes should be washed or bathed with a lotion, made 
as follows : Sugar of lead 2 scruples, rain water (aqua mollis) 
half-a-pint, to which should be added drachm of the tincture 
of belladonna. This lotion should be applied once or twice 
a day for a month; a soft feather or a small camel-hair 
brush are the best mediums for applying it. 

The eyes should be well opened, and the liquid placed on 
the pupils. In some cases cataracts are formed which 
could only be removed by a surgical operation by a skilled 

The first symptoms of cataract noticeable is that the bird, 
before venturing to leap to the perch from the bottom of 
the cage, looks up with its head turned on one side, and 
appears to have some hesitancy, hopping along a lower 
perch, looking up several times before attempting to reach 
the upper one. Birds so affected appear tamer than usual, 
and fly about less when you attempt to catch them in your 
hand, and on closely examining the eye or eyes as frequently 
both are affected a milky white film will be noticed on the 


PARASITES. See under Chap. II., p. 52 ("Preparing Breed- 
ing Cages "). Parasites are produced and propagated by the 

146 The Canary Book. 

birds themselves. It will be found that as soon as a bird 
falls into ill-health it becomes possessed of these objection- 
able pests, and propagates them rapidly; hence an ailing 
bird should be removed to a cage, and placed by itself 
away from other birds, for when once the vermin get a 
footing they increase rapidly, and more particularly during 
warm and genial weather, or where the temperature is above 
SOdeg. If they can get no shelter in the cages they cling 
to the birds, hence it will be found a good plan to use 
hollow perches, so constructed and arranged that the parasites 
can easily get access to them. They should be fixed by sus- 
penders made of wire or tin to the back and front of 
the cages, and a little cotton wool should be placed in each 
of the hollow ends, to provide a shelter, and it will form 
an attractive place of refuge. The perches should be removed 
daily, the wool extracted, and the parasites dislodged and 
destroyed. The birds, as well as their cages and nests, 
should be freely dusted at short intervals with pyrethrum 
powder, which is an excellent safeguard against the encroach- 
ment of these unwelcome intruders. Another remedy I have 
found of great service in destroying these pernicious pests 
is sulphate of copper, commonly called blue-stone, but it 
should only be used cautiously and in bad cases, as it is a 
strong poison. Carbolic acid and Fir-tree oil are likewise 
useful remedies. Birds badly attacked by these little blood- 
suckers should be washed in a bath strongly impregnated 
with alum, which will add much to their comfort by ridding 
them of their enemies. As a further preventive to the 
accumulation of these insects it will be found advisable to 
add a little alum dissolved in water to the whitewash with 
which the breeding-cages are coated out ; a weak solution of 
alum may likewise be given with great advantage to the 
birds to bathe in, once or twice a week, in dry weather, 
as this mineral destroys the pests. Another precaution should 
be taken, and that is to rub the nest tins or boxes inside 
with a little sweet oil or butter. I have likewise found 
camphor, placed in small bags and hung at the ends of my 

Diseases. 147 

cages, very useful. Some fanciers, after first scraping and 
washing their cages out, give them a good coating of paraffin 
oil; let them stand twenty-four hours, and then wash again 
with hot water, strongly impregnated with washing soda ; 
and, lastly, rinse out with pure water, and then whitewash 
them in the ordinary way. 

PHTHISIS. See under " Consumption." 

PIP. This is so called from a small pimple on the rump 
in fact, it is the bird's lubricator, so to speak, it being 
an oil gland, and contains oil used for trimming the plumage ; 
it occasionally gets deranged, and swelling ensues. If it 
appears to contain a mattery substance, it should, when ripe, 
be let out with a fine sewing-needle, and a little oil or 
moist sugar applied to the part. When it is ready to be 
operated upon, the bird appears heavy and sleepy. When- 
ever a bird is ill it should be removed to a cage kept 
expressly for invalids a sort of hospital and when the 
disease is of a contagious character, it should be removed 
as far away from the locality of the bird-room as circum- 
stances will permit. 

is very common among canaries, and is generally ushered in 
by what is known as a common cold, usually caught during 
inclement weather, or by travelling long journeys to shows, 
or otherwise when the atmosphere is humid or foggy, or in 
tempestuous or severely cold weather. The first symptoms 
observable are shivering and dullness, the bird affected appearing 
very quiet for a day or two, eating little, but throwing the seeds 
about wantonly, and evidently in search of something it cannot 
obtain. On the second or third day its feathers become rough, 
and the patient looks cramped up and almost as round as a 
ball; difficulty in breathing will be observed, and a sort of 
dry, husky cough will be noticeable. In some cases there is 
likewise soreness of the throat, and if these symptoms are not 
relieved death will supervene in about forty-eight hours, more 
or less, according to the constitution of the patient. First 

148 The Canary Book. 

remove the subject to a warm room, if it is not already in 
one, and in any case it must be isolated from other birds. 
Give a little gentle laxative such as a small quantity of the 
sulphate of magnesia, a few senna leaves, and a piece of 
liquorice in the drinking water. When the bowels are relieved, 
substitute for the above the following : Yin. ant. tart. Idr., sp. 
ether nit. l^dr., tinct. opii camph. Idr., tinct. belladonna dr. 
Add 15 drops of this mixture to every ounce of the water* in 
place of the drinking water, and draw a few feathers out of 
the tail and wings, as a little blood-letting will assist in reducing 
the inflammatory symptoms. Feed on arrowroot biscuits and 
milk, with a teaspoonful of sherry wine added, and when the 
bird begins to recover give egg-food and tonics; a grain or 
two of quinine, dissolved in a few drops of diluted suphuric 
acid (elixir of vitriol), and loz. of pure water added; a tea- 
spoonful of this should be put to each ounce of the ordinary 
drinking water, and renewed each alternate day until recovery 
is complete. This disorder requires prompt attention to effect 
a cure. 

A caution to purchasers of birds. When you buy birds 
from anyone keep them apart from your regular stock for a 
week or so, and if they appear in good health at the end of 
that time you may place them in your bird room. It is not 
an uncommon practice with some fanciers when they find they 
have got a bad disease among their birds to sell them off 
speedily, but the advertisement will frequently lead you to 
the true cause. If it be stated that the owner is going 
abroad or for some other specified reason, that the entire 
stock must be sold at once, then my advice is be careful. 
This precaution is hardly necessary when you purchase birds 
from a well-known fancier, but at the same time it can do no 

RUPTURED HENS. If a hen gets ruptured through laying 
her eggs, catch her and immerse her bowels in tolerably hot 
water for a few minutes, then apply a little oil to the 

Diseases. 1 49 

distended womb with a feather, and try to press it back gently 
with a piece of cotton wadding fastened to the end of a 
finely-pointed pen-holder ; if you fail to replace it the hen 
will die. 


SCARLET FEVER. Next to typhus fever, there is probably 
no complaint from which birds suffer that is so fatal in its 
consequences as scarlatina. Several years ago I had the mis- 
fortune to have a visitation of this direful malady of the 
malignant type in my family, and I lost two of my children 
in consequence. During this visitation in my household several 
of my birds became suddenly ill, and after lingering a few 
days they died. At first ,1 did not take much notice of this 
as I was in great trouble, and the whole of my children, 
with one exception (an infant), being badly affected by this 
fever, and most of them dangerously ill. As time advanced 
I found that the greater part of my birds were being attacked 
by some disease, and at this time I had a very large collec- 
tion, among them several valuable prize birds. After a careful 
examination of the dead birds, and a close observation of 
the symptoms of those that were ill, I came to the con- 
clusion that they had taken the fever from my children, who 
were located in bedrooms on the same landing, but a few 
yards away, there being seven rooms in all, and the birds 
were in the one farthest away. I mentioned my suspicion 
to the medical attendant who visited my family, and he 
appeared amused and surprised and said he could not think 
such a thing possible. But I was so convinced of the accu- 
racy of my diagnosis that next day I dissected two birds 
which had succumbed to the disorder, and from the appear- 
ance of the tongue, throat, and viscera, I was quite satisfied 
that my theory was correct, and I fully convinced the doctor 
that I had made no mistake. 

I at once began to treat my patients for this complaint, 
and out of about thirty-five birds thus affected, I saved 
twenty-one. The symptoms of scarlatina differ somewhat from 
those of typhus, but before I proceed further, I must mention 

150 The Canary Book. 

that there are three species of this disorder i.e., scarlatina 
simplex, or simple scarlet fever; scarlatina anginosa, scarlet fever 
attended with inflammatory sore throat; and lastly, scarlatina 
maligna, that is scarlet fever with malignant typhoid symp- 
toms and sloughing sore throat. It was the latter and most 
dangerous type from which my children and birds suffered. 
Symptoms : This complaint begins with cold shiverings and 
lassitude, followed by restlessness and a loss of appetite. If 
you catch a bird affected with this complaint and examine 
its tongue, you will find it rough and coated with a sort of 
elimy mucus or yellow fur, at first slightly red, with raised 
papillae, and after a day or two the tip and outer edges 
become intensely so, and you will find after a few more days, 
if of the virulent type, that the throat becomes swollen and 
inflamed. In other respects the symptoms very greatly 
resemble those of typhus, with the addition of a sort of dry 
cough, and after the third day the body assumes a red 
appearance on the feathers being blown back. If the bird 
is likely to recover the eruption will begin to disappear about 
the sixth day; but the danger is not then over, as the fever 
leaves the birds languid and debilitated, and nourishing food 
and tonics require to be administered. 

In the malignant form the eyes of the bird affected become 
very dull, and there is generally a slight discharge from the 
nostrils of acrid matter. Treatment : Firstly, attend to the 
bowels. Put an ounce of Epsom salts, and a piece of Spanish 
juice the size of a Spanish nut, into a pint bottle, and fill it 
with warm water; when cold, and the ingredients are dis- 
solved, give to the birds in place of the ordinary drinking 
water for twelve hours. Then give half the quantity filled 
up with water, and add to this twenty drops of sweet spirit 
of nitre and twenty drops of antimonial wine to each ounce 
of the former, to allay the symptoms. Give this fresh every 
morning until the fever has entirely abated. If the throat 
of the patient is swollen, make a gargle with twenty drops 
of muriatic acid to one and a half ounces of water, and to 
this add thirty drops of the tincture of myrrh ; open the mouth 

Diseases. 151 

of the bird gently and hold it firmly, dip a small feather in 
the gargle and pass it a few times carefully into the throat, 
and quietly turn it round. 

The diet should consist of white bread soaked in warm 
milk, given fresh two or three times a day, and as an occa- 
sional change sponge biscuit soaked in sherry wine and 
squeezed partly dry. After the sixth day, if the patient 
appears to be recovering, add to the drinking water, in place 
of the antimonial wine and nitre, thirty drops of the tincture 
of gentian, fifteen drops of diluted sulphuric acid, and a 
small quantity of fche best gum arabic. 

Ventilation is a great factor in restoring health to sufferers 
from this malady, therefore, if the weather is at all genial the 
window of the room should be opened, but all draughts must 
be rigorously guarded against. In cases of the malignant 
type the birds should be removed to pastures new, and the 
bird room and cages disinfected in the manner pointed out 
under the head of Typhus Fever. I have no doubt whatever 
that birds are more or less prone to all or most of the ills 
and epidemics that human flesh is heir to, but as the poor 
little mites cannot tell us of their troubles or describe their 
feelings otherwise than by their appearance and actions, it is 
often very difficult, and more particularly so to an inexperienced 
person, to diagnose correctly the ailments from which they 

SORE FEET. These are almost invariably produced through 
dirt and neglect. Birds get their feet clogged up with filth, 
which forms into little balls, hardens, and produces sores. 
This state of things ought not to exist. I have known 
fanciers supply their birds with horse-hair or cow-hair for 
the purpose of building their nests, and the birds have 
worked on with it until it has got so twisted and wrapped 
round their claws and feet that the disentanglement became 
a work of considerable difficulty and patience to overcome; 
and if birds are permitted to go about with the hairs 
fastened round their claws in this manner for any length 
of time together, they will most probably lose some of them. 

152 The Canary Book. 

Whenever you discover a bird in this plight, catch it, 
immerse the feet in warm water to free them from dirt, 
dry, and proceed to cut away the hairs with a sharp pen- 
knife or a pair of scissors, and, lastly, anoint any place 
which appears sore with a little sweet oil. 

SURFEIT. This complaint is usually produced either by a 
bird eating to excess, or by its being fed too long upon one 
particular kind of food without having a change. During 
this disease the insensible perspiration is impeded, and the 
skin is generally covered with a small, almost invisible, 
eruption, and the feathers gradually disappear from the head 
of the bird. A change of diet, something cooling, should be 
given, and a few drops of lime-juice added to the bird's 
drinking-water. Give it, once or twice a week, a drop or two 
of castor-oil internally, and anoint its head with a little pure 
olive-oil (free from scent), lard without salt, or spermaceti 
ointment, and the ailment will speedily disappear. 

SWEATING. See Chap. II., on " Breeding and Management," 
page 74. 

SWOLLEN JOINTS. I have known instances of birds having 
had their feet or legs caught in a loose wire, or in the thin 
wire used for securing the upright wires to the cross-bars of 
a cage front, and with struggling in their endeavours to free 
themselves they have injured their knee- or ankle-joints, or 
other portions of their limbs, which have become swollen and 
inflamed in consequence, or pulled a nail off one of their 
claws. When an event of this kind happens, catch the maimed 
bird and place the injured leg in hot water, as hot as you 
can bear your hand in without flinching; allow it to remain 
immersed for five minutes, afterwards dry the limb, and apply 
a little compound tincture of myrrh to the affected part with 
a feather. 

SYNCOPE OR FAINTING. This is caused by a diminution or 
complete interruption of the motion of the heart and of the 
function of respiration, accompanied by a suspension of the 

Diseases. 153 

action of the brain, and a temporary loss of sensation, volition, 
and the other faculties, of which the brain is the organ. It 
is sometimes caused in the case of nervous birds by the sudden 
appearance of a cat or dog, or anything which may produce 
fear or fright ; or it may proceed from a mechanical ob- 
struction to the circulation, arising from organic affection of 
the heart or of the vessels in its vicinity. When a bird is 
observed to have a fit of this kind, remove it from the cage 
and dash cold water upon it, and if you have any spirit of 
ammonia in the house sprinkle a few drops on a pocket- 
handkerchief and put it lightly over the head of the bird; 
sometimes the attack proves fatal. I remember a gentleman 
once coming into my bird-room with a white hat on; he came 
suddenly forward to admire a Scotch fancy bird, a gem, which 
had won me several prizes in the best of company. The bird 
made an involuntary dash forward, and dropped to the bottom 
of the cage, and, despite my efforts to revive him, he died. 
He was a very nervous, timid bird. 


TUMOURS. Tumours, or wens, are divided into two classes, 
i.e., solid and encysted ; simple or benign, or malignant. Birds 
are sometimes, but not frequently, affected with these ex- 
traneous growths about their heads, and they are mostly of 
that kind known as encysted tumours, and commence their 
growth at the base of the bill, and occasionally, but rarely, 
at the back or side of the head. These latter are in most 
cases what are known as solid tumours, and are always longer 
in maturing. 

The solid tumour is generally enveloped in a dense cellular 
sheath. This covering separates the diseased from the healthy 
parts, whilst the cyst or encysted tumours, on the contrary, 
must be considered as an integral part of the tumour, for 
should any part of the cyst be left the disease is sure to be 

The principal forms of simple solid tumour are those termed 
adipose or fatty, the fibrous, exostosis, or bony tumour. The 

154 The Canary Book. 

malignant are those known among the medical profession as 
encephaloid or brain-like tumour, melanoid, fungus, hsematode* 
or bleeding cancer, &c. This disease is better known among 
fanciers as " cancer of the bill," " yellow gall," and " warts on 
the head." Discutients, such as iodine and mercury, are occa- 
sionally applied for the removal of these unsightly growths, 
but the " knife " or scissors is the only effectual remedy. 
Cut away the substance carefully but effectually, and if it 
bleeds rather freely apply a little burnt alum or a few drops 
of the muriated tincture of iron. Should these remedies prove 
unavailing, cautery must be resorted to, viz., burn the part 
with an iron previously heated to whiteness a knitting-needle 
would be sufficient in a case of this kind; but I do not 
anticipate that it will ever be required, as I have never found 
it necessary, although I have cut off a good many and effected 
a permanent cure in every case. As soon as the bleeding has 
ceased, the part should be anointed with a little fatty matter 
of any sort, provided it does not contain salt; a little sper- 
maceti ointment is as good as anything you could apply, and 
will, in the generality of cases, heal the wound in a short 
space of time. The old-fashioned and well-known cure for 
warts has in some cases been resorted to with success i.e., 
to tie a hair from the human head tightly round the extraneous 
growth, or a fine hair taken from the back of a horse or cow 
will do, and in a week or ten days the remedy will be complete, 
and the excrescence disappear, but success can only be expected 
in cases of adipose tumours. 

TYPHUS FEVER. Some twenty-five years ago, when I pro- 
pounded the theory that birds suffered from fevers, such as 
typhus, and kindred diseases, many fanciers, I believe, thought 
that I had discovered a "mare's nest," but since then careful 
study and observation on my part, and that of several fanciers 
belonging to the medical profession, have proved beyond all 
reasonable doubt that birds as well as human beings are sub- 
ject to these disorders. Typhus fever has been known to 
many fanciers for a long period under the common appellation 
of the " bird plague " or " bird cholera," but beyond the fact 

Diseases. 155 

that birds suffering from this malady died in a rapid and 
unaccountable manner, they could form no conception as to 
the real cause or nature of the disease. A careful study of 
the symptoms, together with a close watchfulness of the pro- 
gress of the complaint, and a post-mortem examination of 
birds which died from this cause, led me to the conclusion 
that it was neither more nor less than typhus fever, and my 
diagnosis proved to be correct. Since then several of my 
friends and acquaintances have had a visitation of this direful 
malady, and among others that enthusiastic and successful 
exhibitor, Mr. Thos. Thompson, of Lancaster, then living at 
Preston, in Lancashire. Mr. Thompson had a most unfortu- 
nate and disheartening experience. At the time he had in 
his possession probably the grandest lot of prize birds ever 
owned by any fancier or combination of fanciers, and after 
a most successful season, beating the Messrs. Mackley, G. E. 
Russell, and all the best known and most successful exhi- 
bitors of crests, he had the misfortune to purchase some 
evenly-marked Yorkshire birds, which introduced the disease 
into his bird-room, and in a few weeks he lost some hundreds 
of pounds' worth of the grandest crests, mules, &c., that have 
ever been produced or seen in the hands of any single man, 
including most of his champion crests, that had never been 
beaten. He sent for me, and I did all I could to save the 
remainder of his stock, but the disease had got sach a hold 
upon them that it was with the greatest difficulty that a few 
of the best could be saved. This was in or about the year 
1884. This misfortune caused him to suddenly relinquish the 
fancy, and in losing him we lost one of the kindest, noblest, 
and best of men that ever entered the arena as a canary 
exhibitor. About 1888 or 1889, Mr. G. E. Russell, then living 
at Brierley Hill, had a visitation of this scourge in his bird- 
room, and that stayed his career as a successful exhibitor of 
crested canaries. Many other fanciers of my acquaintance 
have suffered similarly. 

Birds are most liable to this disorder when about to moult, 
and more particularly young birds when changing their nest 

156 The Canary Book. 

feathers for the adult plumage. At this period of a bird's 
life there is a great demand on the serum of the blood, and 
if there is not sufficient health and vigour to replenish this 
loss freely, stagnation or blood-ferment follows, which is 
supposed to create a bacillus, considered by medical men to 
be the origin of these disorders. There is a difficulty of 
getting rid of the excretory matter, and it lodges in the 
region of the vent, which is readily discernable on examination. 
This being the first symptom, the application of a purgative 
is at once necessary to get the bowels fully relieved : a 
small quantity of the carbonate and sulphate of magnesia, 
and two or three senna leaves, should be put in the drinking 
water, allowed to remain for two days, and renewed if 
necessary, until the excrement is natural in appearance and 
quantity. Some tonic medicine in the shape of gentian or 
camomile should also be added to the drinking water. 

As soon as the malady is discovered, all birds not 
apparently affected with this complaint should be removed 
without delay from among the affected birds, and placed in 
fresh cages, which have been previously disinfected by the 
application of a solution of carbolic acid (loz. of carbolic 
acid to each pint of hot water) freely used over the whole 
of the outside, and well saturated with Condy's Fluid on the 
inside. The birds should be removed, not only from the pre- 
mises where the disease exists, but out of the town or village 
a few miles distant, and the room in which they are placed 
should be well sprinkled with Condy's Fluid, or have a vessel 
placed in the centre of it containing chlorate of lime. The 
birds should be kept moderately warm, and be fed with light 
but nutritious diet. They should have given them some mild 
aperient such as magnesia (20gr. to each ounce of water), and 
an infusion of senna leaves (loz. to a pint of boiling water; 
infuse for two hours and give cold) added to their drinking 
water, renewed daily for three or four days, and the room 
should be freely ventilated during the day, but should be free 
from draughts. 

Diseases. 157 

If the slightest symptoms of typhus become observable 
among the removed birds, give at once two or three grains 
of James' Powder, six or eight drops of laudanum (in place 
of the magnesia and senna), and add twenty-five drops of 
sweet spirit of nitre as well, to every fluid ounce of water to 
be used in place of the ordinary drinking water. If the 
weather is mild, open the windows as wide as possible, and 
if practicable, get a current of air to pass through the room; 
but the night air and damp atmosphere must be entirely 

The birds affected may be fed on rice cake soaked in 
sherry, and partly squeezed dry; and to this should be added 
a few drops of almond or salad oil. During the disease the 
following receipt will be found of much service: Tinct. of 
belladonna, Idr.; Vin. ipecac., 2dr.; Tinct. aconit., Idr.; Tinct. 
hyoscyami, Idr.; Sp. ether nit., 3dr.; Tinct. gentian, oz. Add 
twenty drops of this mixture to each ounce of the ordinary 
drinking water, and twenty drops of the compound infusion 
of senna. 

I have saved a great many birds by this treatment after 
being severely attacked by typhus. Try the receipt first 
given for mild cases, and if the disease continues to progress, 
resort to the last prescription. 

After the fever has exhausted itself, gentle tonics and egg 
food should be given. Such tonics as gentian, camomile, 
and cinchona bark, made into weak infusions, and if during 
the summer, a small leaf of fresh young dandelion, well 
washed and partly dried, will be found serviceable in restoring 
the birds to health. 

When the malady has entirely subsided, the whole of the 
cages, the room, and everything in and about it, must 
be thoroughly disinfected, including the hoppers, seed 
and water vessels. First remove the birds and " stove " 
the room and cages with brimstone for five or six 
hours, closing up every hole and crevice; the brimstone 
should be placed in the centre of the room in a strong 
earthenware vessel or iron crucible; a little oil or paraffin 

158 The Canary Book. 

may be added and set fire to and the door closed as speedily 
as possible. After this operation the door and windows should 
be left wide open for a period of ten or twelve hours to let out 
the fumes, &c. ; then the floor, ceiling, and walls should be well 
washed with two or three gallons of hot water in which lib. of 
soda and 2oz. of blue-stone have been dissolved. If the walls 
are papered they should be entirely stripped bare and again dis- 
infected by use of the wash; after this process leave the 
windows open for a few days, and when the ceiling is again 
white-washed add some Condy's Fluid to the whiting. A 
temporary abode can be made for the birds by nailing some 
half-inch wire netting over a few empty biscuit boxes, and 
cutting out a temporary door at the back or side, to be 
hung with leather hinges, and secured by a metal button, 
the food and water being placed inside to save further 
labour or trouble; or a temporary fly cage can be formed 
in the recess of a room, or better still the birds allowed to 
fly about in a spare empty room, which would be beneficial 
to them in every way. After this has been done the whole of 
the cages should be gone over again, first thoroughly washing 
inside and out with soft soap, soda, and hot water (lb. of 
soft soap and lb. of soda to each gallon of hot water) ; when 
dry, coat them inside and out with the solution of carbolic 
acid, or a strong solution of sulphate of copper (2oz. of sul- 
phate to each gallon of water), allowing them to remain 
exposed to the open air for twelve hours. Next day they 
should be again washed all over with hot water in which a 
good handful of common soda has been previously dissolved, 
and lastly rinsed off with pure cold water. This process will 
thoroughly disinfect both the cages and the room. A basin or 
other vessel containing a quantity of chloride of lime placed 
in the centre of the room will be found an excellent disinfec- 
tant, and will purify the atmosphere. It will be well to expose 
the cages in the open air for a few days before again using 
them, so that they may get thoroughly sweetened. 

All the birds which survive this crucial ordeal should, 
before being restored to their domiciles, be well washed IB 

Diseases. 159 

camphorated water made into a lather with white curd soap, 
and finally drenched with pure warm water, dried off with a 
linen rag or old silk handkerchief, and then allowed to com- 
pletely dry themselves before a fire in a cage or suitable box. 

By the early and vigorous adoption of these means the 
majority of your birds will be saved, and the disease entirely 
stamped out, but earnest and prompt action is a sine qua 
non if your efforts are to be crowned with success, for this 
appalling malady spreads with terrible rapidity, and when it 
gets a firm footing its ravages are quite astounding. To a 
new beginner a visitation of typhus is most dispiriting, and 
causes many eager amateurs to relinquish their hobby. 

The symptoms to be observed in diagnosing this disease 
are: First, the bird sits thick, and looks dull and heavy, and 
is very listless; it goes searching about the bottom of the 
cage as if in quest of something it wants but is unable to 
obtain ; it moves in rapid succession, at first between the seed- 
hopper, the egg drawer, the water fountain, and the bottom 
of the cage, and in a short time it becomes weak and pros- 
trate, with cold shiverings, and a good deal of thirst, the 
symptoms developing quickly. The eyes become dull and 
heavy looking, the bowels distended, the stools fetid, the 
tongue dry and parched, and if you catch up the little 
sufferer you will find it hot and feverish, and if you blow 
back the feathers of the body you will generally find an 
eruption. This eruption, which in a clear bird often looks 
quite livid, does not, as a rule, show itself until the second 
or third day. I consider this a hopeful sign, and with care 
birds so affected soon recover. 

I am thankful to say that I have never experienced this 
disease in any form among my own birds, but I would recom- 
mend those fanciers who may have the misfortune to have a 
visitation of this terrible malady among theirs to remove those 
not affected to a separate room by themselves; keep them 
warm, and feed them upon light nutritious food. Their bowels 
must be kept open by the use of mild aperients, such as 
magnesia (20gr. of magnesia and six senna leaves to each 

160 The Canary Book. 

ounce of water), or a few drops of the infusion of senna mixed 
with their drinking water ; this must be removed once or twice 
a day, and fresh water given them, in which two or three grains 
of James* Powder must be dissolved, and fifteen to twenty 
drops of laudanum added. Condy's Fluid or chloride of lime 
should be freely sprinkled upon the floor of the room; the 
cages should be thoroughly cleaned out, and a little of the 
Condy's Fluid, diluted with water, dashed all over the cages 
inside and out. If the weather is mild, let as much fresh 
air into the room during the day as you possibly can, but 
keep out the night air. Do not open the window if it is 
damp or foggy. After the fever has entirely disappeared, 
the whole of the cages should be washed out; cleanse them 
thoroughly inside and out, using hot water and soap, with a 
little common soda or washing powder. After they are dry 
wash them out a second time with clean water, to which 
must be added a quantity of carbolic acid; after this opera- 
tion the cages should be exposed in the open air for two 
or three days, and then rinsed off with pure water. Lastly, 
whitewash them if they have wooden backs, bottoms, tops, 
and sides with quick lime; but before you use it add a 
little spirit of camphor that is, camphor dissolved in spirit 
of wine. This process ought to disinfect the cages and destroy 
all contagious matter. The bird room likewise should undergo 
a regular process of cleansing and disinfecting, or your labour 
might be in vain. 

YEBMIN. See Chap. II., - on " Breeding and Management," 
p. 52 (" Preparing Breeding Cages "), and also under " Para- 

YOICB, Loss OF. See under "Loss of Yoice." 

WARTS. See under "Tumours." 
WASTING AWAY. See under "Decline." 
WENS. See under "Tujnours,." 

Disease* 16 1 

WOUNDS. From a variety of causes, principally accidents, 
or from an accumulation of hardened matter being forced from 
the feet of birds instead of being softened by the use of warm 
water, wounds or sores are engendered. The best treatment 
is first to cleanse the sore with a little pure spring water, in 
which a red-hot cinder has been deposited, or, where there is 
inflammation and irritation, with a little fuller's earth well 
moistened with water. Afterwards apply, once or twice a day 
according to symptoms, a little compound tincture of myrrh, 
with a feather, until the wound is healed, or Friar's Balsam 
may, in some cases, be used instead of the myrrh, with greater 

I have now, I imagine, enumerated all the principal ills from 
which canaries suffer, and pointed out, as far as my experience 
has enabled me, the best mode of treatment and the best means 
of cure. I hope that those who try them will receive as much 
benefit from the application of many of the ingredients I 
have recommended as I have done myself, in which case 
they will have no cause to regret the efforts they may make 
to relieve their little suffering friends; but as many of the 
ailments from which they suffer can obviously be prevented, 
I must conclude by calling the attention of fanciers to that 
ever-to-be-remembered adage, " Prevention is better than cure." 



MOULTING SEASON. The moulting season extends from July 
to November in each year; in exceptional cases, where birds 
are permitted to breed so late as the months of August and 
September, it may last to the end of December, or longer ; 
but when it reaches this advanced period it is regarded aa 
unseasonable, and ought to be avoided if possible. Those birds 
bred in the spring and early summer months invariably get the 
best and most satisfactory moult, and appear far more improved 
by the change than those that are bred later on. Birds which 
are bred in August and September never appear to shed 
their feathers freely, and the change of plumage takes place 
(particularly if the weather is bad) almost imperceptibly. 

Some naturalists assert that when birds do not cast their 
feathers at the proper time they get a new covering without 
shedding their old feathers ; be this as it may, I have noticed 
that whenever a bird gets a " fresh coat " during cold weather, 
you rarely see any loose feathers about the cage. 

CRITICAL TIME. The moulting season is always considered 
the most critical period in the life of a bird ; and much depends 
upon the manner in which it gets through this process or 
malady for its future well-being. This is strikingly the case 
with young birds, which, as a rule, are much more difficult to 
moult than older birds, for with them it is very similar in its 
effects to what the distemper is in young dogs, and it is quite aa 
liable to be attended with baneful results. Some young hens 
fail to breed the first season, whilst many of the males are 
incapable of impregnating eggs; these and similar drawbacks 

Moulting. 163 

very frequently result from long and protracted moulting, engen- 
dered by cold or by improper diet or neglect, for the greatest 
care and attention are necessary at this time. 

AGE AT WHICH MOULT COMMENCES. Young birds usually 
begin to moult between the age of eight and ten weeks ; those 
that are hatched and reared at the commencement of the season 
are generally a week or two longer in beginning than those 
birds that are " backly bred." There is a very marked difference 
in birds for moulting ; some shed their feathers with great 
freedom, whilst others have great difficulty in doing so. 
Much, doubtless, depends upon the health and constitution 
of the subject. A strong, healthy, robust bird always gets 
over the moult much more easily than a puny, badly-reared 
one indeed, the change that takes place in the system at 
this time terminates the existence of a great many such birds. 

FOOD DURING MOULT. Birds ought to be fed liberally 
during the time they are moulting, and until they are quite 
"fine" in feather; a few dainties may be given them occasion- 
ally, but sparingly, such as egg and bread, maw seed, millet 
seed, linseed, groats, &c., but little or no hemp seed, the last- 
named seed being very injurious to canaries, particularly when 
given in unmeasured quantities. A little beef suet and a small 
piece of an apple may be placed between the wires of their cages 
for them to peck at now and again ; and as they approach the 
period of a full moult, I would recommend boiled carrots to be 
given them fresh, twice or thrice a week, for several weeks in 
succession, as it tightens the feathers, and puts a fine gloss upon 
them. The carrots should be cut in thin slices, and placed 
between the wires of the cages also. It is not advisable to give 
canaries green food at this time ; a fresh lettuce leaf or a 
small quantity of ripe groundsel given judiciously will do them 
no harm ; but avoid giving them too much chickweed, par- 
ticularly if it is not ripe, as it is apt to give them diarrhoea. 

SYMPTOMS AND FIRST TREATMENT. "When a bird is about 
to begin to moult it becomes drowsy and listless, and fre- 
quently goes hunting about the bottom of the cage and in the 
eed hopper, apparently in search of something which it is 

M 2 

164 The Canary Book. 

unable to find. These are unmistakable symptoms, and when 
observed a change of diet should be given such as a little 
maw seed and a few groats, with an equal quantity of linseed 
and niger seed mixed together, or a few stalks of plantain 
well known in Scotland by the appellation of "rats' tails" 
will be found very serviceable at this time. In the course of 
a few days after you observe these signs, if the bird is in 
vigorous health, several loose feathers may be found lying 
here and there in and about the vicinity of its cage, and in 
a few days more you will observe two narrow stripes of 
feathers, much deeper in hue and more brilliant in colour 
than its former covering, on each side of its breast; this is 
a good omen, and the more rapidly these expand and spread, 
and the more vivid the colour becomes, the better, for it is 
all the more in favour of the bird getting speedily over it. 
Let the birds have as much fresh air as you can at this 
time, and be sure to keep their cages clean and supply them 
liberally with sand and fine gravel, which assists them to 
digest their food; but, above all things, be sure to keep them 
quite free from draughts of cold air, as nothing is so detri- 
mental to them as cold, for it not only checks, but in some 
instances it has been known to stop, the process entirely, and 
thereby caused the death of the birds. Never open the window 
of the bird room on a cold, bleak day, especially when the wind 
is from the east or north, or during damp and foggy weather ; 
neither must you give them water to bathe in, except when 
the weather is hot and dry, and then not too frequently. A 
bath is very serviceable in promoting the growth of the 
feathers, but judgment is necessary to regulate its use. 

A little magnesia should be given when the first symptoms 
of moult are observed, say, ten or fifteen grains to a small 
wineglassf ul of water ; this should be given as ordinary drink- 
ing water. An old rusty nail, too, acts as a powerful tonic: 
this should be kept constantly in the drinking trough. A 
senna leaf or two may be used in preference to the mag- 
nesia when thought desirable. A few shreds of meadow 
saffron placed in the drinking water at this time will likewise 
be found serviceable. I have found the following of great 

Moulting. 165 

service during the process of the moult: Dissolve one ounce 
of Epsom salts in a quart of warm water, and when cold add 
two ounces of whiskey or brandy and two teaspoonfuls of 
lemon or lime juice, shake well up, and give this every 
third day in place of the ordinary drinking water. A pinch of 
milk of sulphur added to the bath is also useful. 

PROTECTION FROM DRAUGHTS. Sudden changes from heat 
to cold or cold to heat will be found a good method for 
inducing birds to begin to moult, when they fail to do so 
naturally at the proper season: but to change a bird that is 
already in the moult from a warm place to a cold one, is 
calculated to check the process and cause the bird, to use a 
common expression, to " stick in the moult," and nothing 
tends more to derange the health of a bird than an unto- 
ward circumstance of this kind. Warmth is a most essential 
and necessary element at this season, and some fanciers line 
the inside and cover the outside of their cages with baize or 
flannel, whilst others have panes of glass fitted to slide in 
front of them, with the intention of keeping them clean, quiet, 
and warm. I do not approve of either of those contrivances 
myself, for experience has taught me that all birds so moulted 
are very liable to take cold on the slightest exposure after- 
wards. I prefer a thin calico cover, or a cover of any mate- 
rial sufficient to keep out a cold draught; and birds moulted 
in this way are not nearly so susceptible to change of tem- 
perature as those that are moulted under either of the 
systems before named. 

INFLUENCE OF LIGHT. Other fanciers, again, moult their 
birds in dark rooms, gradually accustoming them to this 
change until they are able to find their food and water in 
total darkness. This plan is believed to intensify and preserve 
the colour of the birds, but I think it is frequently overdone. 
I am fully aware that the direct rays of the sun destroy 
the colour of birds when they are exposed to it; but if the 
bird room has a north or north-easterly aspect there is no 
fear of such an occurrence taking place, for it would only 
get a reflected light, which would do the birds no harm. My 

1 66 The Canary Book. 

own bird room looks due north-east, and directly opposite to 
it is a large building used as a chapel. This shuts off a 
great deal of light, and acts as a protection against the cold 
winds, consequently I have rarely been necessitated to cover 
my birds, either whilst moulting or afterwards; and I have 
exhibited both Cinnamon and Norwich Fancy canaries, 
moulted in open cages, at several of our best shows, and 
some of them were never once beaten. I merely mention this 
fact to show that I am not endeavouring to propound a 
theory that is impracticable. I may likewise mention that 
for depth, richness, and purity of colour, they were unsur- 
passed ; and yet these birds were never covered, excepting 
when the room was being swept or the cages cleaned out. 

FORCING A MOULT. It is a difficult matter to get some 
birds to moult at all, particularly those that are out of health 
or permitted to breed to an advanced period of the year. If 
a bird fails to moult in any year, it will assuredly die in the 
following spring or sooner. If an old bird shows no signs 
of moulting before the end of September (which is beyond 
the proper season) place it in a small box cage, and after it 
is quite familiar with the arrangement, and knows where to 
find both food and water, commence to cover it gradually until 
it can feed in total darkness ; then place the cage in a very 
warm part of a room where a fire is kept burning almost 
constantly. If there should happen to be a closet by the side 
of the chimney, and a sufficiency of air can get to it, place 
it there, as it will require great artificial heat to produce the 
desired symptoms. Being condemned to utter darkness will 
most likely cause the bird to fret, and this sometimes effects 
the change sought for. Before confining the bird it will be 
as well to give it a little magnesia in its drinking water, or 
a senna leaf or two, as a slight aperient is requisite. Keep 
the bird closely covered until it begins to cast its feathers 
freely, when it may be gradually uncovered and removed to a 
cooler place, but not into a room without fire, until the return 
of genial weather in the following spring. If this method 
fails to bring the bird into the moult, then it must be 
removed to an opposite temperature, which in nine cases out 

Moulting. 167 

of ten will produce the effect desired. It is considered a 
commendable practice to put a small quantity of soot in the 
drinking water to encourage a free moult. I have also found 
the following mixture of great service : Yinum colchici, 3dr. ; 
sp. ether nit., oz. ; water sufficient for six ounces. Give a 
fceaspoonful of this to every fluid ounce of water in place of 
the ordinary drinking water. 

MOULTING Box FOB LONDON FANCY. I am convinced that 
much depends upon the health of a bird for reaping the full 
advantages that are to be derived from moulting, both in 
colour and feather, and I cannot help thinking that too much 
close covering is bad for birds and pernicious in its conse- 
quences. A fine muslin or thin calico cover, that will admit 
the air freely, can in no way prove injurious to them, and 
may be found useful in helping to keep them clean. In 
moulting LcnJon Fancy canaries, it is the practice to place 
show specimens in cages made expressly for them. These 
cages have solid wood backs, ends, and bottoms ; the top like- 
wise is made of wood, but the front half of it is so con- 
structed as to turn back at pleasure, as it is hung with 
hinges; the front is wired closely, and a small frame, wired 
in the same way, is made to fit into that portion of the top 
that folds back; a framed glass slide is made to cover the 
front, and after the birds are placed in the cages these slides 
are put a little way over at first, and closed up until they 
gradually extend across the entire front; the lids are then 
propped up a little way when the weather is sultry to let 
in a supply of fresh air; this is termed "box moulting." 

It is doubtless very necessary that birds of this variety 
intended for exhibition should be kept quiet, and to effect this 
object they require to be pretty closely covered; but I have 
a decided aversion to "box moulting," and entertain the idea 
that a bird of this kind can be moulted quite as well and 
quite as advantageously in an open wire cage, with a thin 
calico or holland cover made to fit over it, similar to a night- 
cap, but open at one side and tied with strings; a piece 
should be notched out where the seed and water vessels fit 
on, so that they can be removed without disturbing or 

1 68 The Canary Book. 

frightening the birds. The reason that so much care and 
attention are required in moulting London Fancy canaries is 
this : if they happen to get excited and dash about the cage, 
they are very liable to knock some of their wing or tail 
feathers out, and these would be reproduced clear, and pro- 
bably spoil the chance of obtaining a prize at a show. 

I have moulted show Lizards in the manner I have described, 
and nothing could have been invented to moult them more to 
my entire satisfaction; and, next to London Fancies, there 
is probably no variety that requires so much care bestowed 
upon them as Lizard canaries, for if they beat out any of their 
tail or wing feathers, they become " mooned " at the ends when 
reproduced, and this detracts from their merits. 

MOULTING IN NUMBERS. Those fanciers who breed canaries 
on an extensive scale are frequently obliged to draft off their 
birds in batches of twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty together, and 
place them in large cages, or in an aviary or room to moult. 
It is not a desirable example to imitate; but where such an 
arrangement is unavoidable I should certainly prefer a room 
or aviary to cages for this purpose, for nothing is more injurious 
to the health of birds at this critical season than overcrowding ; 
and, unless they are strong and healthy, they are almost certain 
to succumb, if kept in large numbers in too limited a space. 
Besides, many birds are of a quarrelsome and mischievous dis- 
position, and appear to delight in plucking the others. More 
particularly is this the case with cock canaries, and if they 
should happen to take a dislike to one of their number, 
which I have known them to do, they chase and peck the unfor- 
tunate wretch most unmercifully; and if it is not speedily 
removed they will probably torment it until they kill it. The 
only means of preventing these untoward occurrences, when 
circumstances will not admit of any other alternative, is to 
keep them in closely covered cages, almost in total darkness; 
and this is what I object to, for I cannot be persuaded that 
birds can continue in health very long under this treatment, as 
it is certain to affect both their bodies and spirits prejudicially. 
Where a number of birds are kept together in one cage, and 
it is observed that one of them is bleeding at the top of the 

Moulting. 169 

pinion or shoulder blade, or elsewhere, remove it at once, for 
every bird in the cage will have a peck at the injured part 
whenever an opportunity is afforded of doing so. It is an 
objectionable practice to place goldfinch and canary mules 
along with canaries in the same cage, for they are naturally 
mischievous and meddlesome, and are sure to pluck and harass 
the canaries. 

MOULTING SHOW BIRDS. In the case of show birds of any 
variety, it is always best to moult them, and keep them during 
the show season in cages by themselves; and in the case of 
London Fancy and Crested Norwich canaries it is absolutely 
necessary to do so. Two birds, such as clear Norwich Fancy, 
Scotch Fancy, Yorkshire Fancy (clears), or Cinnamons may be 
moulted together in the same cage, although they are of that 
class known as show birds, provided always that they agree, and 
that the cage or compartment is sufficiently large to admit of 
this being done the space should not be less than sixteen inches 
in height and width, and seven or eight inches in depth from 
back to front. When birds are not intended for exhibition it 
is not necessary to be so particular with them. If a show bird 
is being moulted or kept in an open cage, and is observed to 
put its head frequently through the wires or " water hole " 
i.e., the aperture made to allow it to get readily at its drinking 
water something must be done to-break it of this bad habit, or 
it will in all probability chafe the feathers at the back of its 
head or on its breast, which would in all likelihood be the means 
of preventing it gaining a prize, for it would have the appear- 
ance of having been intentionally plucked. A piece of cardboard 
fastened to either side of its cage will generally put a stop to 
this practice ; if not, a light covering placed over the cage will 
have the desired effect. 

Six or eight birds, or more, may be kept in one cage to moult, 
provided it is sufficiently roomy and otherwise suitable ; but 
it is not a commendable method to pursue, and when resorted 
to, it will be well to keep the males and females separate that 
is to say, so many cocks together in one cage, and so many hens 
in another, as they will be found to agree much better in this 
way; for when they are kept all together attachments not 

1 70 The Canary Book. 

unfrequently spring up between different birds, and this often 
leads to jealousy and discontentment on the part of others; 
and bickerings and strife are engendered, and other ill conse. 
quences ensue, which it is best to obviate when possible. 

It is now an acknowledged fact that the colour of birds can be 
greatly influenced by the food given them whilst they are 
passing through the moult; and in order to reap the full 
benefit that is to be derived from this treatment, it is neces- 
sary to administer the stimulants required to produce this 
change when the birds reach the age of seven or eight weeks, 
and it should be continued until they are four or five months 
old. Formerly marigold flowers, beetroot, carrot, cochineal, 
saffron, madder (for Cinnamon canaries), annato, and other 
compounds were had recourse to for this object, but these 
ingredients have been entirely superseded by the use of cayenne 
pepper, and this is given to them in the manner following : To 
one hard-boiled egg, add two small biscuits (wine or luncheon), 
and two large teaspoonfuls of the condiment. The egg should be 
chopped fine, and the biscuits grated ; a good-sized teaspoonful 
of this mixture may be given to each bird daily. Nearly all 
birds refuse to eat it at first ; but if you remove all other food 
from them for a day or two they will ultimately do so, and when 
once they get accustomed ta it, they devour it most voraciously, 
and appear to like it very much. Whilst they are under this 
regimen they should have constant access to canary seed, but no 
rape, and a little mustard seed and maw seed should be given 
them once or twice a week, as a change of diet, to keep them in 
health. Prior to the discovery of the cayenne process, it was 
proved beyond doubt that mustard seed improved the depth and 
increased the intensity of colour in canaries. The credit of 
discovering the cayenne feeding is, I believe, due to a weaver 
residing at Sutton Ashfield, near Nottingham, although it haa 
been claimed by other people. Being a recent invention, it is 
difficult to say what effect it may have on the constitution of 
birds, but I am afraid not a very salutary one. Capsicum 
annuum, or, as it is commonly called, cockspur pepper, is an 
annual plant, a native of South America, and cultivated in large 

Moulting. 1 7 1 

quantities in our West India islands, and often in our own 
gardens. The pods are long, pointed, and pendulous; first 
green in colour, and when ripe bright orange red. The cayenne 
pepper sold in shops is an indiscriminate mixture of the powder 
of the dried pods of several species of capsicum ; but that which 
is the hottest of all, and consequently considered the best, is the 
variety known as Capsicum frutescens, or bird pepper. When 
used immoderately it is supposed to occasion visceral obstruc- 
tion, especially of the liver. Great care should be exercised in 
its use, for it is sometimes adulterated with the red oxide of 
lead, which is a powerful poison. I am disposed to think that 
it has a detrimental effect on the voices of birds, and cannot 
therefore recommend the use of it to the canary-fancier with 
any degree of confidence. 

I may mention here that a number of fanciers give their 
birds saffron cake, with the twofold motive, first to promote the 
process of the moult, and secondly to improve the colour of the 
feathers, though I have little faith in some of these nostrums. 
I have found, however, that a few shreds of meadow saffron 
immersed in the drinking water is beneficial to a bird whilst 
moulting, but it should be used cautiously, as its action varies 
very much according to the season of the year it is gathered. 
Colchicum combines an anodyne effect with a drastic operation, 
as an emetic, purgative, or diuretic, and has in some instances 
been known to produce fatal effects. 

OF CANARIES AND THEIR HYBRIDS. Since the first edition 
of the "Canary Book" appeared, long and rapid strides have 
been made in the field of experience with regard to the effect 
of cayenne pepper and other ingredients administered to 
canaries and their hybrids during the process of the moult, and 
much correspondence has taken place in various journals inte- 
rested in ornithological subjects on the indiscriminate use of 
cayenne pepper and its effect on the constitution of birds. 

Men of experience in the world of science have entered into 
the controversy, and those in the best position to know surgeons 
and veterinary surgeons, who have dissected various specimens 
which had partaken of this condiment, and were submitted 

172 The Canary Book. 

to them for their opinion as to the cause of death appear 
to be agreed that it is decidedly detrimental and injurious to 
the health of birds, and calculated very materially to shorten 
their existence, more especially when given in excess. I do not 
think that a moderate use of it is so injurious as some people 
suppose, but unfortunately, there are some men so constituted 
by nature that speculation seems to be the charm, and, I might 
say, the very essence of their existence ; without it such men 
would in all probability languish and die. Men of this peculiar 
temperament who, in addition, possess a considerable measure 
of ambition as well, are apt at times to do very outrageous and 
unaccountable things, and their actions betoken them to be, 
well I will put it mildly, and say very indiscreet, and their 
indiscretion leads them to adopt plans and methods that wise 
men would shudder to think about. The only question is, what 
will these men not do to carry out their ambitious designs? 
Such men are to be found in the bird fancy, and such men 
it is that overdo everything they take in hand, by carrying their 
schemes and ideas to excess. 

From two teaspoonfuls of cayenne pepper to an ordinary 
hen's egg, and an equal quantity of biscuit quite enough in 
all conscience to feed little delicate birds upon these men have 
ventured, and have given their birds as much as six and eight 
teaspoonfuls of the most powerful pepper procurable to the 
quantity of egg and biscuit mentioned, in order, if possible, 
to outvie their brother fanciers in obtaining high colour in their 
show specimens, and some, not content with this piece of gross 
cruelty, have actually removed all other food from within their 
reach, and have left the miserable little wretches no choice 
between eating it or dying of starvation. I have often wished 
the Humane Society could interfere and punish such unfeeling 
and heartless beings, and also for the inhuman method now 
adopted of pulling out the whole of the flight and tail feathers 
of young birds, when placed in the moulting cage, in order 
that these feathers, which are never shed by birds at their 
first moult, may also become steeped in the unnatural 
colour supplied to them through the circulation of the blood. 
Others I have kiown who have gone entirely beyond the 

Moulting. 1 73 

cayenne in its normal condition, and have had the oil extracted 
from the pepper, which is believed to be the active colour- 
ing principle, so that they might give it in the highest and 
most concentrated form; and how many birds have perished 
through these acts of rashness and folly no living person can 
tell. Cayenne given in such unmeasured quantities must of 
necessity be attended by the most baneful results, and those 
people who have the temerity to purchase such highly fed 
specimens are sure to suffer for their foolhardiness. The depth 
of colour in a Norwich canary is not always a guarantee of 
high breeding, as many circumstances are necessary to bring 
about a successful issue. Three birds chosen from the same 
parents, and treated alike, will often vary as much as three 
birds chosen promiscuously out of a large quantity of mixed 
birds, so much depends on the constitution of the bird to stand 
this untoward treatment, and the palest coloured specimen 
selected will frequently turn out the richest coloured bird at 
the finish. Sib bred birds will show the effect of the food 
sooner than those ,not bred akin, but few of them can stand the 

The method adopted by the most successful exhibitors, who 
moult large quantities of birds for show, is to have a moulting 
house built expressly for the purpose ; some are built of brick 
and slated, and others of wood only. When built of the latter 
material, a double wall or partition is used, these being about 
three inches apart and filled with sawdust. In any case, the 
foundation should be a dry one, and the house should have at 
least one step up to it ; and, if built of wood, the roof, as well as 
being double boarded and lined with sawdust, should be covered 
with roofing felt to keep out the wet. A ventilator should be 
placed in the centre of the roof, one that revolves with the 
wind is best. The only light should be obtained from one or 
two fixed sky-lights, and a closing shutter should be made to 
fit over each inside, to be so constructed that the shutters will 
slide backward and forward, so that, whenever Sol appears 
in the brightness of his effulgence, his golden and gladdening 
rays may be shut off, and the poor little prisoners enveloped in 
atter darkness, as light in any form has the effect of lessening 

174 The Canary Book. 

the colour of the plumage of the birds, however deep and 
intensely brilliant that may be, and each cage from floor to 
ceiling must be covered with calico, or other material of a like 
nature. The birds must not be put into total darkness when 
they are first placed in the moulting house ; this must be done 
gradually during the first fortnight. It is also necessary to 
have the house heated with hot- water pipes a double layer of 
pipes is best. My own experience can testify to the fact that 
artificial heat and an equilibrium of temperament of, say, from 
50deg. to 60deg., are of the greatest possible advantage to those 
who wish to moult birds for the show bench, and more par- 
ticularly when very deep colour or good, well-developed crests 
are required. Those who have no such appliances stand at a 
great disadvantage against those who use them. The more 
rapidly a bird moults the better it will appear. 

Egg as a medium for the pepper food is not now considered 
the best vehicle for administering it, and various preparations 
of farinaceous foods are used instead. The great object is 
to keep the birds plump and healthy during this trying ordeal, 
as without these conditions the birds are not likely to make 
successful competitors. Ground rice, arrowroot, fine oatmeal, 
ground linseed, and powdered loaf sugar, with port wine and 
sherry, are among the principal ingredients now used. 

The following formula is a favourite mixture; it has been 
used by some of the most prominent exhibitors of the present 
day with considerable success, and a high price was paid for the 
recipe not many years ago : B. 2dr. of meadow saffron, boiled in 
8oz. of water and strained ; 6oz. of port wine and 4oz. of Maras- 
chino wine ; honey, 2oz. ; powdered loaf sugar, loz. Mix well. 
Add a teaspoonful of this mixture to the egg and pepper food 
three times a week. 

The latest introduction in cayenne is that which is now 
known among bird fanciers as "cold pepper" or "tasteless 
pepper," in place of the pungent sort. 

Cayenne pepper can be robbed of its pungent qualities by 
triturating it with oil ; whether the so-called tasteless pepper is 
procured by this method, or whether it is simply a compound 
partaking largely of other ingredients containing the desired 

Moulting. 1 75 

colouring matter, I am unable to say ; but, from my own experi- 
ments, I am thoroughly convinced that birds can be produced 
as high in colour as those fed on the very choicest cayenne 
without a particle of pepper being used; and if I had been as 
reckless in the use of some of the articles I have experimented 
with, as some of my confreres have been in the ad libitum use 
of cayenne, it is more than probable that I should have produced 
specimens quite as rich in colour as any yet exhibited ; but I am 
gifted with a considerable amount of caution, and, I trust, of 
common humanity likewise, and I must, therefore, feel my way 
gradually. I am quite satisfied with the result of my experi- 
ments so far, and have obtained some beautifully- coloured 
specimens. For the benefit of those who desire to experiment 
for themselves, I append a list of the articles which I have used 
for obtaining colour ; they must only be used during the moult- 
ing season: 

Alkanet root, beetroot, carnation clove, catechu, cardamom 
(lesser), cochineal, cinchona bark, dragon's blood, infusion of 
red rose leaves, gum kino, madder, meadow saffron, Parish's 
syrup, logwood, port wine, sherry wine, and Maraschino wine. 
I likewise in some cases use some of the mild alkalies to 
deepen the colours. These hints will enable fanciers to experi- 
ment on a somewhat extensive scale, and their ingenuity may 
lead some of them to extend this field of operation even beyond 
my own, and I confidently hope and believe that, in a short 
time, a compound will be discovered that will entirely supersede 
the use of cayenne, without in any way injuring or prejudicially 
affecting the health and constitution of birds. Yegetable and 
alkaline products I find the best. I am not sure whether 
canaries cannot be obtained of colours never before seen. My 
experiments have not yet been extended in that direction, my 
sole object up to the present time being to obtain the colour 
so much sought after, i.e., deep orange, bordering on red, and 
orange lemon, without having recourse to cayenne, which is 
beyond all doubt pernicious in its consequences. It affects the 
larynx ; consequently, it acts as a deterrent to the vocal organs 
of birds fed with it. It enlarges the liver, and has a very 
prejudicial effect on birds intended for breeding. It is inju- 

176 The Canary Book. 

rious to health, and, consequently, very materially shortens the 
lives of birds fed with it. Accum, writing on cayenne pepper, 

"It is sometimes adulterated with red lead to prevent its 
becoming bleached on exposure to light. This fraud may 
readily be detected by shaking up part of it in a stoppered vial 
containing water impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas, 
which will cause it speedily to assume a dark, muddy, black 
colour, or the vegetable matter of the pepper may be destroyed 
by throwing a mixture of one part of the suspected pepper ana 
three of nitrate of potash (or two of chlorate of potash) into 
a red hot crucible, in small quantities at a time. The mass 
left behind may then be digested in weak nitric acid, and the 
solution assayed for lead by water impregnated with sulphu- 
retted hydrogen. If the suspected cayenne pepper is shaken 
up in a bottle of clear water, the rapidity with which the red 
lead sinks to the bottom will give an approximate test of the 
presence of the poison." 

Brande, M'Culloch, Mitchell, Normandy, and others all agree 
as to the frequent use of red lead, and the last-named chemist 
mentions finely powdered brick dust as an ingredient used to 
retain a bright colour, as also red ochre, Venetian red and 
cinnabar, vermilion, or sulphuret of mercury. 

The result of the Lancet's analysis of cayenne pepper was 
that out of twenty-nine samples submitted to examination, 
twenty-five were adulterated, and only four were genuine. 
Twenty- two contained mineral colouring matter ; thirteen 
red lead, often in large quantities ; seven Venetian red, red 
ochre, and brick dust; one sample cinnabar, vermilion, or 
sulphuret of mercury; six ground rice, coloured with red 
lead or ferruginous earth ; and two rice only, coloured with 
red lead. 

As red lead and vermilion, or sulphuret of mercury, are 
powerful poisons, fanciers who give this commodity to their 
birds in unmeasured quantities little know the risk they are 
miming, and to what dangers their valuable show birds are 

After birds have finished moulting they ought not to have 

Moulting. 177 

any more of the cayenne food, or other food for giving colour 
supplied to them, as it only affects them during the period of 
shedding their feathers. Those which have been kept covered 
should also be brought back to the light of day by degrees, 
and not suddenly, as the change might damage their eyes. 
The best cayenne to use is Aveper, or sweet pepper. 

CLASSIFICATION. At a special meeting held at the Crystal 
Palace Show in 1890, at which many of the most prominent 
breeders and fanciers of canaries were present, it was 
unanimously resolved to abolish the classes known as 
" Cayenne-fed " and " Non-cayenne-f ed," and substitute for 
these " Bed-fed " and " Yellow-fed " classes, as it is well known 
that most of the winning specimens shown in the so-called 
" Non-cayenne-f ed " classes were really cayenne-fed, but so 
sparely as in many cases to defy detection; hence it was 
thought that by doing away with the old titles, which pre- 
vented conscientious fanciers from entering, and substituting 
the new titles, it would leave it open to fanciers generally 
to use such condiments or colouring matter as best suited 
them to obtain the colour they really desired. Now the 
great difficulty to be overcome is to fix a standard of colour 
for birds to be shown in the " Yellow-fed " classes, as 
a great many birds were shown last year that were bordering 
on the orange, which is neither red nor yellow, but a happy 
blending of the two. 

It would be well if the conference were to have another meet- 
ing, and decide upon a shade of colour which could be fairly 
claimed as yellow either a bright chrome-yellow, a gamboge- 
yellow, a King's-yellow, a yellow-lake, a yellow-ochre, or a 
Naples-yellow. The first-named, being the richest and 
brightest, would doubtless find a majority of fanciers in its 
favour. If this question were settled, then a freshly-painted 
piece of wood or cardboard of the proper colour should be 
placed at the head of each class at every show, for the 
guidance . of the judges and the public. I consider this the 
only satisfactory method to <idopt to prevent disputes. Even 

178 The Canary Book. 

with these precautions occasional disputes may arise, for 
every one is not possessed of discrimination in shades of 
colour, but, under ordinary circumstances, such an arrange, 
ment ought to prove satisfactory. The following formulae 
will be found valuable in producing the colours required: 

Red-fed. Formula 1: Linseed oil, 1 pint; dragon's blood 
(finely powdered), loz. Simmer together on a slow fire for 
half-an-hour. One teaspoonful of the compound should be 
added to half of a hard-boiled egg and an equal quantity of 
crushed biscuit or breadcrumbs, and, lastly, a dessert-spoon, 
ful of moist sugar added. Incorporate the whole thoroughly; 
this quantity would serve three birds for one day's supply; 
it should be given fresh. 

Formula 2 : Take of red sandal- wood (finely powdered), loz. ; 
the best red Natal pepper (fresh), 2oz. ; loaf sugar (powdered), 
2oz.; sweet or tasteless pepper, 3oz. ; add 1 teaspoonfuls of 
this mixture to the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs and a 
table-spoonful of finely-powdered biscuit, and moisten the 
whole by adding 30 to 40 drops of the following solution: 
Put Idr. of hay saffron into 2oz. of rum or brandy, let it 
digest for six days, then strain through a piece of fine muslin. 
During this feed let your birds have red marigolds and the 
flowers of nasturtiums to eat ad libitum. This is a first-class 
colour-feed for the highest colour obtainable. 

Formula 3 : Red Natal pepper, 4oz. ; tasteless pepper, 4oz. ; 
red sandal- wood (finely powdered), 2oz.; powdered cochineal 
(the black bug), loz.; moist sugar, 8oz. A teaspoonful to be 
added to each egg and moistened with a strong solution of 
saffron made as mentioned in last formula. 

Yellow-fed. Formula 1: Nepaul pepper, 2oz. ; turmeric, 
3oz. Add 1 teaspoonful of this mixture to each hard-boiled 
egg, and an equal quantity of powdered biscuit or bread- 
crumbs. Put 2dr. of saffron in a bottle with 4oz. of sherry 
wine ; let it digest for seven days, strain through muslin, and 
add a teaspoonful of this to every two eggs given. Let the 
birds have a mixture of canary- and mustard-seed in equal 
proportions and a supply of yellow marigold floweri. 

Moulting. 1 79 

Formula 2 : Annato (air dried and crushed), 2oz. ; turmeric, 
2oz. ; salad-oil, 4oz. Triturate and keep in a warm place for 
three or four days ; add 2 teaspoonfuls of this to each hard- 
boiled egg and biscuit powder (equal quantity) and a tea- 
spoonful of good brown sugar or honey. Mix into a paste 
not too stiff. Give marigold flowers freely and canary- and 
mustard- seed in equal quantities. 

Formula 3: Nepaul pepper, mustard, turmeric, and ground 
ginger, each 2oz. ; moist sugar, 8oz. Take 2dr. of hay or 
meadow saffron, and add to it 4oz. of good sherry wine; 
digest for seven days, and strain. To one egg and two small 
biscuits crushed to powder, add a teaspoonful of each of the 
above compounds ; this will be sufficient for three birds. 
Prepare it fresh every morning, and let the birds have a 
constant supply of canary- and mustard-seed, mixed in equal 
proportions. This is said to be a very satisfactory receipt 
for producing a good bright yellow colour. Give marigold 
flowers ad libitum. 

DAMP BOOMS. Whatever you do, be sure tha,t you do not 
put birds in a damp room to moult, nor in a room where gas ia 
constantly used, for it is more hurtful than most people suppose 
and has, I doubt not, been the means of destroying thousands 
of birds. It sets them into the moult at unseasonable times of 
the year, and occasionally causes loss of voice. It matters 
not how healthy or robust a bird may be, it cannot thrive in 
a vitiated or frequently overheated atmosphere. 

PRESERVING COLOUR. It is a difficult matter to preserve 
the colour of show-birds throughout an entire season, especially 
when they are exhibited frequently, for the action of the light 
destroys the colour. The best plan to adopt where it is con. 
venient to do so is to put two or three panes of ruby-coloured 
glass in the bird-room window, and shut off all the other 
approaches of light. This can be done by coating over the 
remaining squares with a mixture of thick glue size and lamp- 
black, or a board or shutter could be used ; either would do. 
The ruby glass neutralises the chemical action of the light, and 

N 2 

180 The Canary Book. 

consequently preserves the colour of the birds intact; bnt by 
all means let them have a plentiful supply of fresh air. It is 
said by some old experienced exhibitors that it is not possible 
to keep a bird " up " in colour for a whole season ; and that it 
is necessary for any one to have three or four prize birds to 
accomplish anything approaching a feat as a successful exhi- 
bitor ; but I can assure those who feel disposed to try this plan 
that they will be well satisfied with the result. 

CRESTED BIRDS sometimes have a difficulty in throwing off 
their head gear when moulting ; when this is found to be the 
case, remove the feathers by hand. Do it as gently as you can, 
a few at a time, day by day, until all are withdrawn ; they come 
off very easily at this time, and do not cause pain to the birds. 
It is very desirable that the moulting of the crest should not 
be protracted, or it will appear stunted in its growth. 

If a show-bird has the misfortune to damage a tail- or wing- 
feather, it should be withdrawn as soon as the mishap is dis- 

Cayenne feeding and artificial heat say about 60deg. Pahr. 
especially the latter, are great factors in developing and 
increasing the size of the crest in Crested Norwich and Lan- 
cashire Coppy Canaries. 

During the process of the moult it is necessary to feed 
liberally, and more particularly those birds which appear out 
of sorts, or those that have been bred with for several 
months. The process of moulting greatly reduces the 
strength, and frequently impairs the vitality of birds; so 
that strengthening and invigorating food, and a plentiful 
supply of pure air, free from draughts, are of considerable 
importance at this period. Hard-boiled eggs mixed with bread 
or biscuit, a few groats, a little hemp-seed, inga-seed, maw-seed, 
and linseed, together with a bit of sweet apple or a moderate 
quantity of fresh green food, often will tempt them to eat 
and uphold their strength. Where a large quantity of birds 
are kept for stock purposes, one or other of the compounds 
may be used with advantage and at small expense. A bath 
during warm dry days will be found of much service. 



DIARY. Those bird fanciers who intend to breed birds for 
exhibition or profit should keep a diary or record of their pro- 
ceedings and success during each breeding season, and also a 
" Stud Book," to enable them to trace without difficulty the 
pedigrees and performances of those birds which comprise 
their studs. 

The diary ought to be begun at the commencement of the 
breeding season, and continued to the end of the year, or longer 
if desirable at all events until all the young birds are over the 
moult and the surplus stock disposed of ; every event should be 
chronicled therein, such, for example, as the full particulars of 
the birds you breed from, the dates of pairing, laying, setting, 
hatching, &c. A few minutes should be devoted to this 
important duty every day, say, immediately after breakfast, 
if convenient, if not, at some more suitable time of day; but 
do not procrastinate, neither must an entry be omitted, as 
this would greatly mar the value of the journal. Each bird 
ought to have a distinguishing name or number, so that the 
produce of each individual pair of birds could be easily traced 
from one generation to another, and their blood -relation- 
ship established clearly beyond doubt. The diary should be 
about 14in. by lOin., moderately thick, and either plain or ruled 
with horizontal lines only. An entire leaf should be appro- 
priated to the use of each pair of birds for the season. Every 

1 82 The Canary Book. 

occurrence should be fully recorded in this book, and if properly 
and carefully kept it will prove both valuable and interesting 
for future reference. The one kept by myself is arranged as in 
the following page. 

When a bird dies or is sold, the fact should be duly recorded 
in the column headed " Remarks." If a bird dies during the 
breeding season, and the survivor of the pair is mated with 
another partner, it will be advisable to make a new entry in the 
diary, as if it were a distinct pair of birds. It will be found a 
somewhat tedious occupation to keep a journal of this descrip- 
tion at first, but after you get accustomed to it, you will regard 
it more in the light of a pleasant pastime than that of an 
arduous task ; and I can assure those who adopt this method 
that the perusal of these records in after years affords an agree- 
able, interesting, and instructive amusement, and the amount 
of pleasure derivable from such a source can only be realised 
by those people who are themselves ardent and enthusiastic 
lovers of birds. 

STUD BOOK. Having given on the opposite page a specimen 
entry of my mode of keeping a Diary of Bird Breeding, I will 
now proceed to give one of my " Stud Book " as well. This 
book can be compiled from the diaries principally, but whenever 
you make a new purchase, or claim a bird at any show, you 
must find out its pedigree as best you can; if you fail to do 
this, then you must content yourself by entering it with such 
particulars as you know, and state such facts as the following : 
" Claimed at .... Show, No. 301, V.H.C.," or whatever else 
may be the state of the case. 

If only it would become a general practice to show all birds 
with a distinguishing name at our exhibitions, in the same way 
as dogs and other animals are shown, it would give a keener 
zest to those who are directly interested in them, and a stud 
book could be kept much easier, and the pedigrees traced back 
for many more generations ; but, as matters stand at present, 
few fanciers care to go beyond the performances of the birds 
they possess, and that of their parent birds, and few, if any, 
attempt to get beyond the performances of their grandsires and 
granddams, because it necessitates such a large amount of 



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184 The Canary Book. 

writing; but if a bird were famed by a name or title, the record 
of that name and that of its owner would be all that would be 
needful to bring it vividly before the recollection of those men 
who are learned in " birdology," for they alone can properly 
appreciate the value of a strain of birds that have repeatedly won 
honours. "We should then have the satisfaction of being able to 
trace any bird of renown and distinction after this manner- 
Brown's Warrior, Smith's Conqueror, Jones's Beauty, and so 
on ; and these appellations, or similar ones, would in a short 
time become just as f amilar to our ears as are those of Fletcher's 
Rattler and Pickett's Tyneside, and other celebrities in the dog 

MICE OB BATS IN BIRD BOOMS. One of the greatest 
annoyances that a bird fancier has to encounter is when any 
of these pests make an inroad into his aviary or bird room, 
for they are not only mischievous and troublesome, but even 
dangerous and destructive, and when once they get a firm 
footing in any place they are most difficult to dislodge. 

"Whenever you discover the presence of mice among your 
birds, you must not neglect to examine the whole of the seed- 
hoppers and feeding troughs attached to those cages which 
contain birds every morning, for I have known numerous 
instances where mice have literally devoured every grain of 
seed in a hopper or feeding drawer of a cage in a single night, 
and the occupants of the cage were left without a morsel of food. 
Some fanciers do not feed their birds more than twice or thrice 
at most weekly during the winter months of the year, therefore 
if an occurrence like the one I have just related should take 
place, the birds would inevitably perish. I have known valuable 
specimens meet with an untimely death from this cause, and the 
owner (a novice of course) wonders what was the matter with 
them, for the cunning little animals knowingly leave all tha 
husks behind, and this tends to deceive the inexperienced and 

As soon as it has become evident that the precincts of your 
"sanctum" are infested with mice or rats, a strict scrutiny 
should be immediately instituted, and their runs found out and 
traced to their source. Bats are more easily got rid of than 

Miscellaneous. \ 85 

mice, for if you succeed in discovering their runs and fill them 
up with old rags, plentifully saturated with coal tar, and 
liberally sprinkled over with broken glass throughout the entire 
length of their tracks, which usually terminates at or near 
a drain unless it is in the neighbourhood of a water-mill or 
other exceptional place and, lastly, plug up the road of egress 
with broken bricks and cement, you will generally succeed 
in forcing them to find fresh quarters, unless, as may happen 
in rare instances, there is a complete colony of the vermin, 
in which case it would be necessary to employ both dogs and 
ferrets to thin their ranks before any other precautionary 
measures were employed. It would, furthermore, in a case of 
this kind be advisable to keep a cat constantly upon the 
premises ; but cats are almost as much to be dreaded as the 
rats themselves, unless they are "broken to birds." "Ha! 
broken to birds, did I hear you say?" Yes! Some fanciers 
bring up cats among their birds and train them to live among 
them on a peaceful footing. For " Catching Rats," see p 204. 
BREAKING CATS TO BIRDS. I have seen a cat which was 
allowed to remain in a room where there were no fewer than 
sixty or eighty birds flying about loose, and strange to say, she 
had kittens a few days old in a comer of the same room at the 
time. The birds appeared quite familiarised with the animal, 
and took no more notice of her than they did of the water 
fountain placed in the centre of the room for their use I mean, 
so far as to exhibit any symptoms of fear or timidity. I have 
seen others that were permitted to go in and out of rooms where 
birds were kept at pleasure, and to remain there during the 
night by themselves, and yet they never attempted to molest 
them ; the birds, however, were kept in cages, but not beyond 
the reach of those feline depredators had they felt inclined 
to a little carnage. One fancier, with whom I was intimately 
acquainted, possessed a cat that, judging from its actions, 
seemed to be not only on terms of great intimacy with the 
birds, but actually appeared to have an affectionate regard for 
them. I have seen this cat repeatedly drink out of the water 
vessels containing the supply for the use of the birds, and then 
curl herself up with her face to the cage, upon the cage stand, 

1 86 The Canary Book. 

and look tenderly towards them. The birds, not the least 
afraid, would come and give a tug at some of the loose hairs 
that projected within their reach, and Mistress Tabby would 
merely wink at them in a blinking sort of fashion. The 
manner in which those cats are trained humanity forbids me 
to recommend, as it flavours so strongly of wanton cruelty. 
They receive their first lesson when they are very young some 
eight or ten weeks old ; a cage containing birds is placed upon 
the floor of a room, and "Tom," or "Jenny, "or whatever its 
name may be, is brought and set down in front of them. The 
kitten no sooner espies the birds than it dashes forward instinc- 
tively to seize its natural prey, when its instructor, who is on 
the qui vive, instantly springs forward, and, grasping the 
would-be assassin by the skin of the neck with a vice-like 
grip, proceeds to chastise it in manner following : Having, 
prior to the introduction of the device to allure the poor 
unsophisticated kitten, heated an ordinary knitting needle to 
redness, he holds it in readiness for use in his other hand, 
so that, as soon as the culprit has committed itself, the needle 
is forthwith placed against the wires forming the front of the 
cage, and poor little pussy receives a severe scolding, at the 
same time the operator nnceremoniously begins to rub its nose 
backward and forward violently against the heated wire. They 
rarely, I am told, ever require a second lesson, if the first has 
been properly given, and never a third ; but by way of a treat 
those humane individuals (P) (the trainers) sprinkle the first 
bird they happen to have die, from any cause, very liberally 
with cayenne pepper, and give it to their unsuspecting pupils, 
who no sooner get a good mouthful of the profusely seasoned 
dainty than they drop it as they would a red-hot iron. After 
this they would as soon think of attempting to catch hold of a 
live coal as they would a canary. 

POISONED GRAIN. When I have had the misfortune to be 
pestered with mice and rats and I have been sorely plagued 
with both, but not recently, in my bird room, at least I have 
proceeded to remove all seeds and food of every description 
beyond their reach, and, by placing pieces of glass here and 
there agiust the wall, and nailing tin round the legs of my cage 


stands, to prevent their climbing, or by securely covering my 
birds during the night time, I have managed to prevent them 
from obtaining food and intruding in my cages. In the next 
place I regaled them with a little provender, prepared expressly 
for their use, which consisted of grain prepared after this 
fashion: Get a pennyworth of oxalic acid, or sugar of lead, 
obtainable from any chemist, and put it in an earthenware 
vessel of any kind that is of no value; pour over this about 
a quart of boiling water. As soon as the powder is all dis- 
solved, throw in a few handfuls of wheat, oats, or barley. 
Stir it up with a stick, and afterwards let it stand for twenty- 
four hours in a warm place; then pour off the liquid into a 
drain, or ash pit, or similar place, where it can do no harm. 
Lastly, dry the grain at a slow fire, and it will be ready for use. 
It should be sprinkled all about the bird room or place which 
the little brutes are known to frequent most ; but, if you keep 
pigeons or fowls about your residence, you must exercise great 
caution in using it ; and after you are led to believe that the 
mice are all destroyed, or nearly so, search out their runs 
and pour a quantity of gas or coal tar into them; brealr up 
a few old glass bottles, and force in as much of the broken 
glass as you can ; having done this, fasten up the entrance to 
the holes securely from the outside. All the poisoned grain 
unconsumed should be carefully gathered up and destroyed, 
either by being burnt or buried. 

KEEPING OUT MICE. If you are troubled with mice, they 
will probably come through the skirting boards, or in the 
vicinity of them. Place a stout lath, edge up, and nail it 
to the skirting or floor. You must likewise nail a stout lath 
between the stencils of the bird-room door, as close to tie door 
when it is shut as it can be got, and upon the opposite side to 
that on which it opens, for I have found on more than one 
occasion that this has been their only means of access to the 

MICE DESTROYING EGGS. It very rarely happens that mice 
have the temerity to attack birds unless they are exceedingly 
voracious and the birds are weakly or invalids ; but they will 

1 88 The Canary Book. 

devour both the eggs and progeny ;>f birds when the latter are 
only a few days old, should they by any chance happen to get to 
the nest. 

DISTINCTION OP SEX. "How do you know a cock canary 
from a hen?" is frequently asked, not only by amateur bird 
fanciers, but by many people who oiily keep canaries because 
they " like to hear them sing." In answer to the interrogatory, 
I may say that male canaries are, generally speaking, more 
masculine in appearance than females. Their contour is usually 
more gallant-like and their carriage bolder and more erect; 
they are likewise more spruce and lively in their actions, and 
more dignified and commanding in bearing. Male birds, too, as 
a rule, are larger and fuller in the head and body, and stand 
more erect upon their legs than females ; beside, their plumage 
is almost invariably richer and more intense in colour. In 
addition to these differences, it will be found that the tone of 
voice in male birds is richer, deeper, more mellow, and stronger 
than that of female canaries. The male birds are, likewise, 
more mischievous and quarrelsome in their dispositions. But 
these are not always to be regarded as infallible proofs, for there 
are exceptions in rules relating to canaries as well as to human 
beings ; and there are to be found both masculine-looking hens 
and effeminate-looking cocks in the canary family, the same as 
there are to be found in the human family masculine-looking 
women and effeminate-looking men, but they are the exceptions, 
and not the rule, in either case. A male bird ought to begin 
to sing, if in good health, and placed ' in a cage by itself, at a 
very early age. I have known instances of young birds com- 
mencing to sing at the age of three weeks, and it is by no means 
an uncommon occurrence for them to sing at the age of one 
month ; and when five or six weeks old the majority of them 
sing with great freedom. The best means to use in order to 
excite them to a display of their vocal powers is to put some- 
thing upon a brisk fire to fry a piece of ham is best, as it 
creates more noise in the process of cooking than chops or 
steaks. The grinding of a coffee-mill, or the shaking to and fro 
of a few grains of seed in a paper bag, or the sharpening of a 

Miscellaneous. 1 89 

knife upon a steel, are all more or less powerful incentives, and 
calculated to awaken within them a spirit of emulation. 

It very rarely happens, however, that you can induce them to 
sing in the presence of strangers ; that is, if you make an effort 
to stimulate them to do so, which is very provoking at times, 
more especially if you have been lauding your bird to a friend, 
and he has called purposely to hear it. The best and most 
appropriate time to hear a young bird sing is either at the early 
dawn of day, or when the shadows of evening begin to close 
around, just before the sun sinks in the far west and bids ua 
" Good night ! " It must not be expected that a young bird of a 
few weeks old will sing vociferously like a bird fully matured. 
This they never do until they attain the age of from six to nine 
months, and, in solitary instances, longer. Their first efforts 
are not particularly symphonious, being a sort of prolonged 
chirruping noise ; the hens as well as the cocks attempt to 
sing, but herein lies the difference the male birds pour forth 
their infantile lays with great energy and vehemence, and in 
long continuous measure, filling their little throats until they 
swell and work like the bellows of that unearthly, screeching 
instrument, the bagpipes; whereas the hens only utter short, 
sharp, and disjointed notes, and their throats never swell nor 
work so vigorously as that of a male bird a practical eye and 
ear can detect the difference in a moment. 

The difference in the sexes of birds is easily distinguished in 
the spring of the year or during the early summer months, that 
is if the birds are well and healthy ; it is ascertained by examin- 
ing their vents; the vent of a male bird protrudes, whilst 
that of a female is broader and flat. If you place a young bird, 
say, eight or ten months old, that you believe to be a male, 
beside a well-known hen, say, in the month of March or April, 
you will not be long in discovering whether your suspicion is 
correct or not by their movements. If it proves to be a male 
bird, the hen will very probably turn upon him as viciously as a 
tigress, unless she is of a loving disposition and pleased with 
his appearance, when she will sidle up to him and fondle about 
him in a bewitching manner, and a courtship will be begun at 
once, unless it so happens that Master Dickey, not charmed 

190 The Canary Book. 

by her appearance and behaviour, repels her, and abuses her 
accordingly. This treatment will lead to a conflict ; but if, on 
the other hand, the bird you presume to be a male should turn 
out a female, they may, through jealousy, have a fight, but it 
will neither be so violent nor of such long duration as it would 
be in the former erent. 

TIMID BIRDS, &c. Some birds are so nervous that they never 
attempt to sing in the presence of any person for a very 
considerable period of time. I have known instances of 
amateurs pairing a bird of this description with another male 
canary, and they have gone through some of the manoeuvres 
incident to breeding, such as billing and feeding and making 
a nest, &c. I have also known two females paired, by tyros in 
the fancy, and they laid and sat, but of course brought forth 
nothing. In one case I heard of both hens having laid in the 
same nest, and they had ten eggs between them, but they 
broke most of them through fighting for possession of the 
nest, both wanting to incubate together. Others, again, will 
agree and both sit together in the same nest. 

BIRDS. Some birds sing freely enough when left by them- 
selves, but refuse to do so in the presence of other birds. This 
happens most frequently with birds that have been kept for 
singing only, and have been isolated for a long time, and 
probably petted as well. Whenever a strange bird is introduced 
to the presence of an old bachelor bird, unaccustomed to the 
company of his brotherhood, he is liable to become peevish and 
jealous, and is certain to be excited to anger or pleasure on such 
an occasion, but more frequently the former than the latter, in 
which case he will sulk and refuse to sing; but, if he takes 
kindly to a companion, he will most likely sing even harder and 
louder than before the introduction, through rivalry. The only 
means of getting a bird of the former disposition to recom- 
mence to sing is to remove the stranger or intruder. 

Canaries readily learn the songs of other birds, more particu- 

Miscellaneous. 191 

larly that of the linnet, which is sweet and melodious; but if 
you wish them to acquire another song differing from their 
natural lay, you must remove the birds you desire to be taught 
at an early age, and place them where they can hear the song 
of no other bird than the one whose notes you wish them to 
learn. They can be taught to imitate flutes and other musical 
instruments, likewise an instrument called a bird-organ, which 
is mostly used for teaching them. One tune only should be 
played in their hearing daily, until they have acquired it 
properly, and when a second air is introduced the first one 
should be repeated at short intervals. 

bird do you recommend for singing a canary or a canary 
mule ? " This is a question which is often asked. I invariably 
recommend to all those who appeal to me for an opinion on this 
subject, a dark mule bred between a goldfinch and a canary, or 
a linnet and canary, as they are very handsome, lively, and 
hardy, and when they happen to get smoked or soiled, they do 
not show the dirt like a yellow or buff or pied canary ; beside, 
their song is more mellow and less shrill. They are usually 
long-lived birds, not being subject to sexual changes, and this 
is another advantage in their favour. A male goldfinch mule 
is easily distinguished from a female by the rich deep orange 
colour that encircles the beak and emblazons the breast after 
it has moulted. In the female the colours are much paler. 

PRIZES. It is often asked which variety of the canary is best 
for breeding a few prize birds. Good birds of any variety are 
difficult to breed, and some men are not fortunate enough to 
breed prize birds until they have had some years* experience, 
and have succeeded in establishing a strain upon which they 
can place reliance. So far as the varieties are concerned, it 
is probably about as difficult to breed prize birds of one variety 
as another. Cinnamons, Crested Norwich, Lizards, and York- 
shire Fancy are, in my opinion, the best kinds for a novice 
to select for a commencement, but the fewer varieties a fancier 
keeps the greater are his chances of success. 

192 The Canary Book. 

AGE OF BIRDS. " How can you tell an old bird from a young 
one ?" Well, easily enough in an ordinary way, that is to say, 
provided the bird has not been tampered with. All young 
birds are free from scales upon their legs or shanks ; whilst the 
legs of old birds are more or less scaled. The legs of some 
birds, however, scale much more rapidly than others, and 
hence it is not possible always to fix a bird's age by this 
criterion alone. I have seen some very old birds with scales 
upon their legs nearly as thick as their legs were, but some 
unprincipled people do not scruple to " scale them," i.e., scrape 
the scales off to make them look young. The marks, or inden- 
tations, or rings upon the shanks of old birds are more palpable 
and more readily seen than those upon the legs of young birds. 
Their beaks, too, are both longer and stronger, and so are their 
claws, and the feathers which compose the wings and tails are 
never so tightly braced together in a bird that has moulted 
three or four times as they appear in a bird of one or two 
summers only. Another sign is that old birds very often have 
dirty feet, and are never so lively and full of " go" as a young 
bird; these are signs which to a keen observer are unmis- 

CRIPPLES, OR MUTILATED BIRDS. Some birds are maimed 
in the nest by one or other of their parent birds, and others are 
naturally deformed in their feet, wings, or beaks. These mis- 
fortunes or malformations do not always prevent their being 
reared, but whenever you find a bird with part of its upper or 
lower mandible eaten off, or one or both of its feet maimed, or 
the majority of its claws, or part of a wing, it will be found 
most advisable to terminate its existence at once, for it would be 
a burden to itself and a source of annoyance to you were you to 
permit it to be reared. 

TAMING BIRDS. I know some people take a great interest in 
taming birds, more especially canaries. They accustom them 
to go about the house from room to room, to alight upon their 
shoulders or fingers when called by name, to eat out of their 
mouths, and sundry other amusing little tricks. I have seen 
a canary that could be sent out of the house into the open 

Miscellaneous. 193 

air, and brought back again immediately at the pleasure of its 
owner. I have seen it fly upon the tops of houses at the 
opposite side of the street, and this, too, in a populous town, 
where a considerable amount of traffic was being carried on at 
the time. I have known this bird be away out of sight for 
several minutes, and the person to whom it belonged bring it 
back in less than one minute, simply by a well-known call or 
whistle. This bird was taught, so I was told, by kind treat- 
ment alone. There are several methods of teaching birds these 
tricks, such as clipping some of their wing feathers, and using 
ingredients to stupefy them ; sometimes hunger is resorted to, 
but there is no necessity to adopt any of those cruel practices in 
order to domesticate them. If you wish to teach a bird to come 
and go, to alight upon your finger, to eat from your mouth, &c., 
procure one about five or six weeks old, and place it in a cage 
very near to you during the day -time, and talk to it frequently, 
give it a little green food occasionally, or any little dainty; 
after it becomes familiar with you, open the door of the cage, 
and let it range the room at its pleasure. At first it will most 
likely fly about rather wildly, and against the window panes, but 
take no heed of this, merely notice it by saying, "Dickey!" 
"Dickey!" "Pretty Birdie!" Before you give the bird its 
liberty, secure the window and also the door ; in fact, lock it, lest 
any one should open it from the outside and let out the bird, for 
if it got out and you were necessitated to go after it and catch it 
you would scare it very much, and it would have a most preju- 
dicial effect upon its nerves. Before you give the bird its liberty, 
prepare a little hard-boiled egg chopped small, and mixed with a 
little bread or biscuit, or some other tempting morsel, and place 
it near you upon a plate or saucer ; after a while the bird will 
have the hardihood to come and partake of it, and if you take no 
particular notice of it, it will, in the course of a few weeks, or 
sooner, come and take it quite audaciously, as its confidence will 
increase rapidly, provided it is in no way molested at first. Do 
not attempt to catch it to put it back in its cage, as it will be 
sure to return to it of its own accord if left alone ; it is merely 
a question of time. Persevere with this treatment daily for a 
few weeks, and it will soon become as tame as could be desired; 


IQ4 The Canary Book. 

place a lettuce leaf upon your shoulder, and after it becomes 
bold enough to eat it there, coax it to eat out of your hand, or 
from between your fingers, and thus by patience, perseverance, 
and kindness, you will ultimately succeed in getting it to do a 
variety of feats both pleasing and entertaining to you. 

CLEANING SEED. Nothing is calculated to preserve birds in 
health more than the constant use of good and wholesome 
food. It is desirable, therefore, where a few birds are kept, to 
procure a small fine hair sieve to sift the dust out of the seed 
once a week or fortnight. Where only a single bird is kept it 
is not worth while to incur the expense, but the seed drawer 
should be emptied on to a piece of paper or a dish, and the dirt 
picked out and the dust blown away. 

ARE FREQUENT IN USE. Most people who keep birds to 
sing, have them in the room they ordinarily use, and where a 
fire is almost constantly kept, and the gas often lighted neither 
of which is desirable, for both are calculated to have a pre- 
judicial effect upon their health, especially gas, which invari- 
ably sets them to moult out of season, and thereby jeopardises 
their lives, more particularly when they are hung in a lofty 
situation or from the ceiling, as the intense heat which is 
generated and accumulated there is most hurtful to them. 
To avoid this I would recommend the use of plate pulleys- 
little brass pulleys afiixed to plates ; fasten one of these to the 
moulding above the window (about the centre), and the other to 
the architrave on either side of it, whichever is most conve- 
nient both pulleys must be in a line with each other. Get a 
piece of blind or picture cord about 10ft. in length, and secure 
it to the top of the cage by a ring or hook made of wire, and 
pass it through these pulleys. It will be necessary also to 
obtain a plated double hook (i.e., two hooks affixed to a brass plate, 
such as are used for Yenetian blinds) ; this should be fixed to 
the architrave on the same side as the pulley, and about 3ft. 
from the ground, so that the cage can be lowered or raised at 
pleasure; at night, after the gas has been lighted, the cage 
containing the bird should be lowered to within 4ft. of the 

Miscellaneous. \ 95 

ground; this will in a very great measure assist in obviating the 
baneful effects which must inevitably result in cases where 
birds are exposed for any length of time to its blighting influ- 
ences. In the morning the cage can be drawn up. This con- 
trivance is so simple that a child might easily manage it, but 
the bird must not be neglected or forgotten, especially if cats 
are kept on the premises. 

whether eggs are fertile or not, hold them up before a window 
when the sun is shining strongly. If they are fruitful, and 
have been sat upon eight days or more, they will be quite 
opaque, vulgarly termed " black sitting." You can sometimes 
ascertain the fact at the end of six days, but there is no certainty 
before the end of the eighth day. If the eggs merely look 
muddy, and are not quite black, they are what are known as 
dazed or spoiled eggs. It is a bad practice to molest hens 
during incubation, as all hens ought to sit their allotted time, 
thirteen or fourteen days, according to the temperature of the 
atmosphere. If the eggs are all right they will assuredly be 
hatched, if not you cannot improve them by looking at them, 
and I should like to know how many fruitful eggs have been 
destroyed by this means some through being let fall, and 
others by being indented with the finger nails. Never handle 
a bird's egg when your finger nails are too long. 

IMPREGNATING EGGS. I have very frequently been asked 
my opinion whether I considered it necessary for a male bird 
to remain with a female after they had been observed to pair 
properly, and if they were then separated whether any or the 
whole of the eggs would prove fruitful. I have heard a great 
many arguments upon this subject both pro and con, and for 
my part I prefer not to offer an opinion thereon. I may, how- 
ever, cite two cases which bear on the subject both ways, and I 
will vouch for their authenticity. A friend of mine, a great 
mule breeder, and a gentleman on whose statement I can con- 
fidently rely, related to me that he once sent a canary hen, in 
full season, to a friend's house, who had a breeding goldfinch, 
to get the hen impregnated. He sent her by one of his men- 


196 The Canary Book. 

servants, in a paper bag, with strict injunctions for him to 
witness the birds pair, and to wait until they did so, and then 
to bring the hen back with him. This was effected in the 
presence of the owner of the goldfinch and the man ; the hen 
was removed immediately afterwards. He told me that the 
man was only away a little over an hour until he returned, his 
mission being completed. The hen laid in due time, and the 
eggs proved fruitful, and were hatched. I have heard of other 
instances very similar. The other case happened with myself, 
and is as follows : I once put a young goldfinch with an excel- 
lent mule-breeding hen canary, and seeing that she was about 
to lay, and not having observed any symptoms of attachment 
between them, I removed the goldfinch and placed a male 
canary beside her. In the course of a few days after this she 
laid four eggs, incubated and hatched, and reared her progeny, 
two of which were mules, and two canaries. I have heard of 
another case precisely similar in character, so that I consider 
it best not to run any risks. I have likewise had a hen lay an 
egg without the presence of a male bird. I then introduced 
one. She laid five eggs in all, and the last three were hatched. 
Another case has come under my observation where a male bird 
that had been placed with a hen was removed. Three days 
afterwards the hen laid, and out of four eggs laid by her three 
of them were hatched. If a hen lays an egg in the absence 
of a male bird, and one is introduced immediately afterwards, 
as a rule the remainder of the eggs will be fruitful. It has 
been repeatedly asserted that cases have been known in which 
a hen has been kept in a cage along with a male bird for a 
few days, and the latter then removed, and that eggs laid a 
week afterwards proved to be fruitful. This is possible, but 
success could not be counted upon. 

It is a common error for people to fall into who have a 
limited knowledge of birds, to suppose that every pied or 
marked canary is a hybrid; and hundreds of people who 
possess common variegated canaries will tell you that they 
are mules. 

Miscellaneous. 197 

hens pair readily with cock canaries, and have eggs, but they 
are never fruitful; but if you give them a sitting of fruitful 
canary eggs they will hatch and rear them. They almost 
invariably prove to be good foster parents. 

BUYING BIRDS. "When a person living at a distance from a 
well-known fancier or other person wishes to buy some of his 
birds, it is customary after the bargain is made for the pur- 
chaser to send a P.0.0. for the amount before the birds are 
sent off. Where two fanciers are well known to each other 
this is not always insisted upon, but, in either case, the birds 
sent travel at the risk of the purchaser, unless it is agreed 
that they are sent on approval or return, when they travel at 
the risk of the vendor, provided there is no agreement to the 
contrary. If birds meet with an accident in transit, the rail- 
way companies are responsible, particularly where an un- 
reasonable amount of delay in transmission has taken place, 
as they charge 50 per cent, as a risk-rate for all live stock; 
but, although they do this, they endeavour to repudiate their 
responsibility, and strive to limit their liability to 5s. a bird ; 
this is simply preposterous. In some cases, railway companies 
insist upon the senders of live stock signing a Consignment 
Note to this effect, and refuse to accept and send the birds 
without this regulation is complied with. I do not think they 
are justified in this proceeding, and my advice to fanciers is, 
if compelled to do so, to sign the document under protest, 
and above the signature write the words : " Signed under 
protest." Fifty per cent, is a very large risk-rate. For an 
additional payment of one penny over the ordinary rate of 
postage, the Post Office authorities guarantee a payment of 
5 on all valuable articles duly registered, and for twopence, 
10. Surely, then, a railway company, whose least charge for 
a bird going any distance is 6d. and, in cases of long 
distances, 2s. or more, although the packet weigh less than a 
pound can afford to pay reasonable compensation, for the 
risk, if the bird be well packed, is not great. Despite the 
railway companies' bye-laws, which are> not always legal, any 

198 The Canary Book. 

unbiased judge or jury will, if the case is brought before 
them, give the fair value for the loss in all ordinary cases, 
and where no contributary negligence can be proved against 
the sender; and I strongly advise any fancier who may suffer 
through the neglect or carelessness of any railway company 
to test their responsibility by an action in a County Court. 
Although birds are delicate and tender-looking little creatures, 
it is surprising what an amount of knocking-about they can 
stand without being injured. Out of many thousands of 
birds that I have sent away and received, I have only had 
about four die. 

When birds are purchased from a person unknown to you, 
and he demands pre-payment, send him a P.O.O., payable ten 
days after date. In order to do this, you must affix a penny 
receipt stamp, and sign the requisition on the face of the 
order to that effect. If he fail to send you the birds within 
a reasonable time, then you can stop payment by giving 
notice to the postmaster where the order is made payable; 
but if he give you a satisfactory reference to a banker or 
town clerk, a magistrate, or a doctor of medicine or divinity, 
you need not take these precautions. I must not, however, 
omit to say that an order made payable in this way is not 
any security to the vendor of the birds, as the remitter of 
the order can stop payment during the ten days, and get 
the amount of it refunded to him by the postal authorities. 

very careful always to send birds in small box-cages or in 
strong boxes, with plenty of holes bored in them to admit 
air; fix some pieces of wood to the bottom of the box with 
small screw-nails for the birds to perch on; never place 
them a little way from the bottom, or the birds may get 
jammed beneath them, and be smothered with the seed, or 
hurt. Never put hay, straw, shavings, or similar material 
inside a box or cage used for this purpose, or the birds 
will either be hungered to death through not being able to 
get to the seed, or be suffocated. Always give them a 
plentiful supply of seed and a little soft, white bread-sop, 

Mis eel la neous. 199 

or a lump of sponge immersed in water inside the cage or 
box. Cover the cage properly, but do not overdo it. Make 
holes through the paper with your fingers opposite the 
holes in the box, or wires in the cage, so that they may get 
an abundance of pure air; tie it securely, and be very par- 
ticular in writing the address fully and legibly, and do not 
forget to write in large characters the words " Live birds 
with care urgent." I have labels printed for this purpose 
in block type an inch deep, and I generally paste two or 
three of them on different parts of the cage, where they 
can be best seen. Before sending them away, acquaint the 
purchaser with the train that they will be sent by, and send 
them to the railway station by some person who will wait to 
see them sent off. If you commit any act, by negligence or 
otherwise, which may lead to the death of any of the birds 
you have sold, the purchaser can hold you responsible on the 
ground of contributory negligence. 

GERMAN PASTE. This can be made by bruising in a 
mortar, or with a paste-pin, half a pound or a pound of 
genuine sowing rape-seed ; blow away the husks, and add a 
piece of wholesome white bread, about two days old; roll 
these well together, reduce the mass to a powder, and keep 
it in a tin canister or glass bottle with a broad neck (a 
pickle bottle) and tightly corked to keep out the air, as the 
rape-seed is liable to turn sour ; a little of this, mixed with a 
hard-boiled egg and a slight sprinkling of cayenne pepper, 
will be found capital food either for young or old birds. It 
should be made fresh every twelve or fourteen days. It may 
be moistened with water for the use of young or delicate 
birds if required. 

SAFFRON CAKE. Take of fine flour lb., sugar 3oz., butter 
2oz. f and the yolks of two fresh-laid eggs ; get a pennyworth 
of meadow saffron and pour a teacupful of boiling water over 
it; beat the eggs and the butter together in a basin, next 
add the sugar and flour, and form the whole into a mass 
with the solution, after it has been strained through a piece 
of muslin, and lastly bake. When cold it is ready for use. 

2OO The Canary Book. 

MARKING BIRDS. The .method I adopt, and which, I believe, 
is pretty generally adopted, is to notch small pieces out of 
the web or fringe of one or more flight-feathers, of one or both 
wings ; this is done with a pair of sharp scissors, and in an 
angular direction. By means of a little ingenuity in varying the 
markings, the produce of any number of pairs may be easily 
traced ; but it is equally necessary not only to exercise great 
care in the performance of this operation, but to use con- 
siderable caution in recording the particulars. This I do in 
the back of my diary in manner following : " Young cinna- 
mons from pair in No. 1 breeding-cage, marked in left wing, 
first and second flight-feathers ; each two notches ; placed in 
flight No. 5 (see diary, p. )" ; and so on with the remainder. 
Whatever you do, do not place the markings in the tail of 
a bird, as these feathers are frequently shed or beaten out, 
and then all trace is lost. 

Some fanciers number their birds the same as the cages in 
which they were bred, and where they breed extensively they 
put, say, three notches in one wing and four in the other, 
and multiply them; a bird marked thus would represent the 
number 12 i.e., three times four and so on. 

A CAUTION. Buying birds from successful exhibitors : Bird 
fanciers have during the past few years increased at a rapid 
rate, and many people have taken up with this delightful 
hobby. On this account some of the more speculative 
fanciers have found it to be a very profitable business to 
supply the wants of these new beginners; they have laid 
themselves out specially to make money by so doing, and 
have become veritable bird dealers under the designation of 
" fanciers." 

The modus operandi pursued by these men generally is to 
find out a person worthy of trust, in each of the large towns 
where birds are bred and reared in considerable quantities; 
the man they employ is termed their agent, and he binds him- 
self not to act for anyone else; and they empower him to 
purchase on their behalf every bird of the kind they require that 
ie likely to figure as a prize winner on the show-bench at the 

Mis cell a neous. 201 

leading shows ; and the agent, who should himself be a good 
judge, honest and trustworthy, is paid according to the success 
of his purchases, viz., by giving him a percentage on the 
winnings of the birds during the first show season. Ten per 
cent, is the usual sum paid, or 20 per cent, on the amount 
of purchase money. The birds should be bought subject to 
approval, but this cannot always be stipulated for, and some 
breeders will not sell one good bird without selling several 
inferior ones, as they consider a good bird should sell several, 
but in this case the price should be regulated accordingly. 
The time to purchase is in the autumn, August and September. 
We have known as much as 35 to have been paid for a 
single Crested Norwich canary, of course, a successful prize 
winner at the principal shows ; and we knew of a case where 
50 was offered and refused for a very rare specimen, said 
to be the best ever seen at that day. He certainly was a 
grand bird, with an immense crest. I had the honour of 
judging him at one of the late Crystal Palace shows, and 
in his class he simply stood alone. Some of the very best 
specimens out, however, have been bought at prices in first 
instances at between 5 and 8, before they have been 
moulted and exhibited, and this is considered a good price 
with all the attendant risks at that time. I am now speaking 
exclusively of Crested Norwich canaries, which for some 
reason, for which it is difficult to account, have of late years 
brought much higher prices than specimens of any other 
variety. These speculative fanciers get hold of all the best 
specimens procurable, principally in the way pointed out, or 
by attending the first shows of the season and keeping their 
eyes and wits in full play, and claiming all birds possessed 
of extraordinary merit at prices up to 10. There are some 
exhibitors who have written agreements with breeders to have 
the first refusal of any birds they breed. Some astute 
exhibitors employ popular judges to look out for "anything 
good " that is likely to win prizes, and either to purchase 
for them, or " put them on " the track for securing such 
birds, and for such services heavy commissions are paid. In 

2O2 The Canary Book. 

other cases judges look out for exceptional birds and sell 
them to successful exhibitors, and the result may be better 
imagined than described. I know of my own knowledge that 
such things are done, and more than one prominent judge 
has acted in the manner described. I do not say that they 
have not acted in good faith, but I think the practice is one 
that should not exist, and if generally known would be likely 
to be resented by those who breed their own show birds, for it 
is a method that is likely to cause prejudice in the minds of 
exhibitors. The object in getting hold of these birds and 
showing them is to create a name, and what can be so 
powerful an advertisement? After their name is established 
they have seldom any difficulty in disposing of these high- 
priced specimens at greatly enhanced prices, after having 
bred from them and exhibited them for one or two seasons. 
There is always some ardent novice to be found with, as the 
Tichborne claimant said, "more money than brains," to snap 
up these birds, and it does not do for an exhibitor constantly 
to win with the same birds; besides, he generally knows 
where to get a better, for less money, at the time he disposes 
of one of his "champions," as all prize winners are now 

Young beginners should take warning and not be misled 
into the belief that all exhibitors breed their show birds, for 
it not unfrequently happens, and that among some of our 
greatest prize winners, that they never bred a single specimen 
that obtained a first prize, and perhaps not even a second; 
there are exceptions of course, but they are exceptions 
certainly. It is not the rule by any means. These successful 
exhibitors get quite inundated at times with applications for 
birds, and they have recourse to buying from less fortunate 
breeders their entire surplus stock at a moderate figure, and 
retailing them at greatly increased prices. I have heard of 
one successful exhibitor who, it is said, can clear as much as 
from two to three hundred pounds annually out of canaries, 
and I have good reasons for believing that it is not far from 
the truth. 

Miscellaneous. 203 

Beginners and amateurs must remember that " extraordinary 
good birds " are not bred frequently; a really grand specimen 
is a bird in 50,000 of its own variety, or somewhere about 
that proportion; hence it cannot be expected that one man, 
however successful, breeds many of these in a lifetime ; hundreds 
and thousands of men never breed one at all, and probably 
never will. A man is considered fortunate now-a-days who 
can succeed in getting hold of them even by purchase so 
many buyers are on the look out much less to breed many 
of them. Purchasers had better, therefore, reflect before they 
buy, as I can assure them that most of the best birds are 
bred by men who rarely exhibit, but are tempted to part 
with their choice specimens at long prices to speculative 
exhibitors, who soon find out where a good bird is to be 

The same remarks apply to exhibitors of hybrids, and other 
varieties, but more particularly to the two classes of birds just 
mentioned (the Crested Norwich and mules). 

The best men to purchase from are those who strive to 
breed prize winners, whose great ambition it is to improve 
the various breeds, who spare neither time nor expense in 
doing so, and who never purchase birds to sell again, but only 
dispose of their own surplus stocks. These are true fanciers, 
and you are sure to get reliable birds from such men. 

Again, if an amateur purchases a prize winner, and he is 
ignorant or inexperienced in the art of getting a bird up for 
exhibition, he is sure to be disappointed. 

Some of these speculative fanciers cajole young beginners by 
proffering to prepare their birds after purchase from them, 
and they may do so for a time, but for how long ? Some- 
times they offer to lend birds to exhibit at certain shows, 
local shows generally, with the option of purchase ; these are 
their second or third-rate birds, that in good company will 
probably get H.C. or V.H.O. at most. By means of these 
" dodges," young beginners are occasionally led on until they do 
something rash, such as buying up a few high-class birds, at 
very high-class prices ; after they purchase them they find 

204 The Canary Book. 

they cannot manage to " get them up " properly for a show j 
and hence follows vexation and disappointment ; the first flush 
of victory fades before the non-realisation of their hopes, 
and in their anger and indignation they discard their hobby 
in disgust, and with an inward feeling that they have been 
" taken in and done for " ; but pride prevents them from ac- 
knowledging the truth, and they suddenly find that " pressure 
of business," or some similar cause, prevents them from longer 
continuing in the fancy. 

This is the old, old story, that has been realised scores of 
times, and is likely to be renewed, so long as ambition, instead 
of experience, holds sway over red-hot fanciers. 

SHOW BIRDS. Wash your birds but seldom, as frequent 
washing makes the feather rough. Keep the birds covered, 
and in a place as free from dust and smoke as possible until 
the show season is over. 

When you show crested birds take care to keep the perches in 
your show-cages low down, and also in your breeding-cages if 
the birds are very heavily crested. Several cases have come to 
my knowledge where birds with unusually long crests have 
injured themselves seriously by flying against the perches, when 
placed high ; and I have known one death result through it. 
Besides, in a show-cage birds are seen to much greater advan- 
tage when the perch or perches are kept low. 

How TO CATCH BATS. Fanciers who use out-of-door 
aviaries or stables or coachhouses, or similar out-door buildings 
for their birds, are frequently troubled with rats, and how 
to get rid of them is often perplexing. They are too cunning 
to be caught in ordinary traps ; their power of smell can easily 
detect where a human hand has been, and poisoned food is at 
all times a dangerous experiment to try. Place a tolerably 
large tub in the centre of the room, aviary, or building, and 
in the centre of the tub put a brick on end, then pour sufficient 
water into the tub to cause it to come within an inch of the 
top of the brick ; this done cover the top of the tub with 
gtout brown paper, and make it secure. Then sprinkle upon 

Miscellaneous. 205 

it some oatmeal, and put a few bits of bacon-rind or toasted 
cheese as well ; next place a board in a slanting position from 
the ground to the top of the tub, renew the food nightly for 
several nights in succession. This treat will soon be made 
known to all the rats in the neighbourhood and be appreciated. 
After they get confidence enough to come regularly, slit the 
paper in the centre carefully in different directions in such 
a manner that a rat will easily be precipitated into the water 
when it ventures upon it. The rat, suddenly immersed, will 
soon recover from the shock, and find his way to the projecting 
portion of the brick, and will then screech with all his might 
for help, and in a short time will be joined by one or more of 
his friends ; in fact all the rats within hearing distance will in a 
short time rush to the rescue, and getting immersed in the 
water, and finding their comrade in apparent safety, they, 
too, will make for the island of refuge; but as there is only 
room for one rat, the others are repelled, by tooth and nail, 
by the occupant of the brick, who will not yield his coign of 
vantage. Then a fight will follow, and the squeals of the 
combatants will attract more rats, who eagerly rush to the 
spot; and as rat after rat rushes into the water, the scene 
becomes more terrible, and the brick is often upset, and by 
daybreak the following morning the corpses of all the en- 
trapped rats will be found floating round the tub. The next 
best method that I know of is to catch a rat in an iron 
spring-trap, tar it all over, and let it have its freedom ; some 
people who are not too scrupulous about the laws of humanity, 
cut off the tail of the vermin as well. I am told that this 
method has cleared almost instantly a flour-mill infested with 
rats for years. Some hundreds were met very early the 
following morning migrating in a body. 

TWIN CANARIES. On the 8th of June, 1889, Mr. J. M. 
Wilson, of 15, Lillybank Road, Dundee, had a canary hen 
that hatched two birds from one egg. I have only known 
of one other case of this kind, and it was well authenti- 

206 The Canary Book. 

attested cases are on record of young birds, six weeks old 
and upwards, having provided birds of three weeks or a 
month old with food, when they have been forsaken or 
neglected by their parents, or where a male bird having 
sole charge of them has been suddenly taken ill or died. 
Such cases, however, are rare, although several instances 
have come under my own personal knowledge. A friend of 
mine had a young Belgian cock that had never been mated 
with a hen, who would, if placed in a cage with young 
birds two or three weeks old, commence to feed them as 
soon as they pleaded for food, and he was the means of 
saving my friend several young and valuable birds. I once 
possessed a cinnamon hen that would do the same thing, 
and I have known of more than one instance where female 
mules, and barren hen canaries also, have acted as nurses 
and reared young birds. I mention these facts so that any 
fancier in a dilemma of this sort may try experiments, and 
thereby have a chance of saving young birds which other- 
wise might perish. 

YOUNG CANARIES DEAD IN SHELL. In the early months 
of the year (March and April) we usually experience a long 
continuation of easterly and north-easterly winds. These are 
prejudicial to sitting-hens, and the severe cold often weakens 
the young birds until they have not strength to free them- 
selves from the membraneous tissue that lines the shells. If 
a hen does not hatch at the natural period of incubation, 
fourteen days, the eggs should be taken out and examined, 
and if found to be fertile, and there is no appearance of 
hatching visible, they should be immersed in a saucer of 
warm water for the space of a minute, then dried and 
returned to the nest. In most cases this will cause the eggs 
to hatch. If the shell is discovered to be partly broken, 
then assistance is required to free the captive from the bonds 
of nature, but it must be done with care and gentleness, or 
the young bird may be injured. 

Miscellaneous. 207 


Instances have been known of young birds dying at the age 
of five to seven days, when every possible attention appears 
to have been given them by their parents. The symptoms 
observed are enormous swellings of the bowels, and in some 
instances they have been known to burst, the cause being 
constipation. This is probably attributable to feeding too 
freely with hemp-seed or other astringent diet, or for want 
of a supply of green food. 

It is necessary to notice whether the young birds evacuate 
freely; and if not, a few drops of almond or olive oil should 
be mixed with the egg food. Biscuits are very astringent aa 
a rule, and for this reason I always recommend wholesome 
bread being used in preference. I have never had any birds 
die from this cause, but friends of mine have. 

of the finest oatmeal and roast it in an oven until it become* 
of a pale brown colour ; keep stirring it repeatedly to prevent 
its burning, and when cold add lb. of the best Indian-meal 
and lib. of good sweet biscuit, finely powdered, 1 table- 
spoonful of moist or crushed loaf sugar, and a teaspoonful 
of salt; mix well together in a mortar, and preserve for use 
in covered tin canisters in a dry place. When required mix 
with the above a small quantity of German summer rape- seed, 
first scalded and washed clean, and sufficient water to make 
the mass crumbly moist, and it is ready for use. 

Another formula is as follows : Take lib. of fine oatmeal 
and lib. of good wheat-flour, cook in a slow oven until golden 
brown in colour, keep constantly stirring to prevent burning, 
and when cold add lb. of ground rice, 6oz. ground Indian- 
corn, 6oz. moist or powdered loaf sugar, 4oz. crushed hemp- 
seed free from the husk, 3oz. crushed maw-seed; mix well 
together and keep in a tin canister in a dry place. This will 
keep good for many months. When required moisten with 
warm water, and make into a stimsh crumbly paste as much 
aa will be needed for one day. It should be prepared tnus 

208 The Canary Book. 

every morning, and any that is left over may be given to 
pigeons or sparrows. These mixtures, with a daily siapply of 
green food and canary- and rape-seed, will be found all that 
is needed for rearing young canaries without the aid of 
eggs in any form, and is more suitable and invigorating. 
Young birds grow rapidly when so fed, and when they reach 
the age of ten days a few wholesome breadcrumbs may be 
added if desired. 



rt S 

2 11 



THERE is probably no bird so well known and so universally 
admired throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland as the canary. It may without hesitation be pro- 
nounced the " household pet," as it is beloved and esteemed by 
all classes, from the humblest cotter in the land, even to Royalty 
itself, it being a well-known fact that our much-beloved Queen 
takes great interest in these charming little choristers. 

The canary is, without doubt, one of the most charming pets 
that can possibly be possessed, and, but for the fact that some 
high-minded people, whose notions are peculiarly aristocratic, 
imagine that everything pertaining to canary breeding must of 
necessity be plebeian in character, it would most assuredly hold 
a much more important position, as a fancy, than it hitherto has 
done. But why this notion should be associated with canary 
fanciers more than with pigeon, rabbit, poultry, and dog fanciers, 
I am at a loss to understand. I have passed through the entire 
category of these fancies, as a fancier, and despite my most 
earnest endeavours to solve the mystery I am positively unable 
to do so. I will venture to say that there is no bird more 
engaging in manner than a canary -, nor any more gay, happy, 
and cheerful in confinement, and withal so harmonious; their 
power of memory and imitation is perfectly wonderful, and the 
attachment of many of those birds to the individuals who supply 
their daily wants and treat them kindly is widely known, so 
that, for those who are in pursuit of a harmless and innocent 


210 The Canary Book. 

amusement, I know of none where more gratification and enjoy- 
ment are likely to be found. 

INTRODUCTION. Hitherto, I have failed to meet with any 
record giving an account of the first introduction of the canary 
into England, but Willoughby, in his " History of Birds," states 
that canaries were quite common in his time ; and Gesner, who 
wrote in 1585, likewise mentions them. Aldrovandus, who pub- 
lished a work on "Ornithology" in 1610, gives a fair description 
of this bird (vide vol. ii., page 355). It is said, on good authority, 
that canaries were first introduced into England from Italy, and 
1 believe this statement has never been contradicted. There are, 
however, a great many different varieties of this elegant and 
charming bird, and since the introduction of the " All-England" 
exhibitions, the first of which took place in 1858, this 
fancy has made considerable head- way.* 

The canary is to be found in a wild state in some parts of 
Southern Africa, and also in several of the islands in the 
Atlantic Ocean, including St. Helena, Ascension, and the Cape 
Yerde Islands, as also in the Canary Islands. It is stated by an 
early writer on this subject that these birds found their way to 
the latter islands by accident. A ship, bound for Leghorn, 
having on board a number of these birds, foundered near the 
islands, and through this circumstance they were set at liberty. 
They found the climate sufficiently genial to induce them to 
breed, and by this means they became thoroughly acclimatised. 
These birds bear a striking resemblance in size, form, and 
marking to the ordinary linnet of our own country, but the 
ground or body colour is green, which is almost the only differ- 
once observable. They are frequently brought to this country by 
sailors from Santa Cruz and Teneriffe. They are much famed 
for the excellence of their song, which is exceedingly soft and 
melodious, differing materially from the canaries bred and reared 
in this country. The bird from which our illustration has been 
taken was the property of Madame Galeo, of London. It was 
brought from the island of St. Helena, and although wild when 
she got it, it became tame and tractable. It is said to have been 

* I believe the first All England Open Show was got up by Mr. Ruter, Mr. Clark, and 
aiy *el i', at Sunderland, I acting as secretary. 

The Original Canary General Remarks. 211 

a most charming songster. It was shown in the "Any Other 
Variety of Canary " class at the Crystal Show in 1875. 

VARIETIES. The common canary is a bird pretty generally 
known in most countries throughout Europe ; in size and shape 
it is not much unlike a common linnet ; its colours are yellow, 
buff, green, and green pied, or variegated ; it is admired chiefly 
for its song, and may be met with at all professional bird 
dealers ; but by those who are known as " true fanciers," birds of 
this kind are merely regarded as nurses for rearing the more 
valued and favourite varieties; consequently they are con- 
sidered of little value, and may be purchased at a low figure, 
cock birds vaiying from 3s. 6d. each upwards, the hens 
usually being sold from Is. 6d. to 2s. 6d. each, much depending 
upon the time of year and other circumstances. Probably the 
varieties most highly esteemed among the cognoscenti are those 
known as the Crested Norwich and Belgian Fancy canaries, and 
next to these come the London Fancy, Lizards, Cinnamons, clear 
and variegated Norwich Fancy, Glasgow Dons, or Scotch Fancy, 
Manchester Coppies, Yorkshire Fancy, &c., although many of 
these so-called varieties are artificially produced, and are the 
result of crossing one variety with another in such a manner as 
to produce some totally distinct feature or features, differing in 
some material points from all known and existing varieties ; but 
I need scarcely point out that it requires great care, judicious 
management, and considerable knowledge and skill to bring 
about a phenomenon of this description, to say nothing of the 
time, patience, and expense incurred. I will now proceed to 
describe the different varieties, and to point out the distinguish- 
ing features in each class ; the best method of crossing in order 
to produce those features ; and to lay down a standard whereby 
the different points of excellence may be readily estimated. 




ORIGIN SIZE. In my descriptions of the different varieties I 
will begin with that known as the Belgian canary, which, as its 
name denotes, is a native of Belgium. These birds are bred there 
in large quantities, and exported to different parts of Europe 
and America, and several of our colonies. I have in various 
ways endeavoured to obtain some information bearing on the 
origin of these remarkable birds, but without eliciting anything 
reliable; the oldest fanciers in Belgium seem unable to give 
any satisfactory account of them ; I must, therefore, decline 
to hazard any remarks of a speculative or theoretical nature in 
regard to them, and will simply treat them in the character of an 
established variety. This variety of canary has been known and 
admired in our country for more than forty years, and they 
are considered, and, I think, justly so, the nobility of the canary 
race. The principal recommendation of a bird of this description 
is its peculiar form, its large size and graceful and commanding 
contour. It is a large bird, and is variously estimated to 
measure from G^in. to 7^in. or even Sin. in length, from the 
point of the bill to the tip of the tail; but few will be found 
to exceed 7in., which may be taken as an average size. It is 
a difficult matter to measure a bird of this kind except by 
the eye, and that is an uncertain and unreliable " rule ; " besides, 
much depends on the health, condition, and season of the year 
for these birds to show to the greatest advantage; and, although 
size is an important consideration in birds of this class, contour 
is much more so. 

(First Prize, Crystal Palace Show. Owner, F. Reddihough.) 

The Belgian. 213 

MY FIRST BIRDS. It is now forty years since I purchased 
my first pair of Belgian canaries, and I have a very vivid recol- 
lection of the characteristic features that were at that time 
looked for by fanciers ; they were length and thinness of body, 
sleekness, and smartness ; and the beau ideal of a bird of this 
description was one that was so exceedingly slender, that it 
gave anyone the idea that it could be passed through a lady's 
gold ring. But this particular fancy at that time was in its 
infancy in England, and the admirers of Belgian canaries were 
groping their way in the dark; the birds then imported were 
not thoroughbred, or at least very few of them, and those 
that were, were regarded as deformed and ugly. Dealers had 
to be resorted to at that time for canaries of this sort, as 
very few fanciers, in the North of England at least, were 
known to breed birds of this variety, as they had not been 
introduced into England many years previously. At that time 
1 resided in a very pretty village about three miles distant from 
a town, which, in a commercial aspect at least, is now considered 
one of the chief in the county of Durham. The importer 
in this instance was Joseph Greenwell, a man known throughout 
the "fancy" thirty years ago, not only as a dealer, but as 
a fancier as well. He was in the habit of receiving importations 
of these birds during the autumn and spring months of the year, 
at stated periods, and they usually arrived on Saturdays, which 
1 fancy was a good arrangement on his part, seeing that the 
majority of his customers were of the artisan class, and these 
men received their wages weekly, and generally on the 
Saturdays, consequently they would be prepared with the 
wherewithal which would enable them to become possessors 
of the objects of their admiration, and ready cash is considered 
a sine qua non in the bird fancy. Upon one occasion I 
called at GreenweM's to purchase a buff Belgian cock, but I 
found he had not one to suit me. He thereupon informed me 
that he expected a "fresh lot" on the following Saturday 
morning. Having ascertained the time of their probable arrival 
and other necessary information, I determined, if possible, to be 
one of the first in attendance, so that I might have an oppor- 
tunity of selecting something to my mind. Although I lived 

214 The Canary Book. 

fully three miles from the town, my enthusiasm brought me up 
to time. When I reached his house I found several men waiting 
the arrival of the birds, all entire strangers to myself, but 
apparently eager enthusiasts. I found from their observations 
that the majority of them were old " practical hands," and being 
at that time a mere stripling myself, I listened to their con- 
versation in profound silence, in the hope of extending nly bird 
knowledge, which was then somewhat limited. In the course of 
a quarter of an hour the birds arrived, and I was greatly amused 
bo observe the eager, anxious expression of face that some of 
these men immediately assumed ; all was silence in a moment, 
and eyes were peering in at every crevice and loophole in the 
cage in which the birds were, to catch a glimpse of the envied 
occupants, as Joe, in his usual cool and calculating manner, 
removed the covering that concealed them from view. This 
done, a scene of unusual excitement, bustle, and commotion 
followed, a little confusion, and a terrible clamour of tongues; 
in the meantime Joe produced two or three smaller cages, 
and said, "Stand back a bit, and I'll catch them and put them in 
here, where you can get a better look at them." This request 
was readily acceded to, and presently out came the enchanters 
and enchantresses. No sooner had they settled upon their 
perches and given themselves a " pull up," when several voices 
were heard exclaiming, " How much for this ?" and " How much 
for that P" In answer to these eager interrogatories came the 
quiet and patient rejoinder, " How much is it worth ?" One 
replied " I'll give so much," and another would offer so much 
more, and in this manner what were considered the " pick of the 
flock " were disposed of. 

I lingered by in silence until all appeared satisfied, when I 
ventured to ask the price of a noble yellow hen with immense 
shoulders, a nice sleek head, good neck, legs, &c., which had 
excited the mirth of all present, and not a few were the witti- 
cisms that were levelled at the poor unoffending object. One said 
it was a "young camel," another that it was a "Richard the 
Third," but all appeared agreed that it was naturally deformed, 
except myself, and I certainly was the only one who appeared to 
have the least desire to possess it. Green well tried to dissuade 

The Belgian. 215 

me from having it, and said he was sure there was " something 
wrong with its back." Nevertheless, I had a fancy for it, 
whether it was maimed or not, and said I would purchase it if 
it was not a very expensive bird, as I was not sure then but 
it might possibly be deformed, and consequently of little value. 
He said I might have it for 7s., and I accepted the offer at once ; 
after I got it home and compared it with my other birds, it 
occurred to me that this was the " Simon Pure " of a Belgian 
canary, and the next time I was in town I told him I should like 
a few more of the same shape, and gave him my opinion respect- 
ing it; he smiled quietly, but very significantly, but this did not 
alter my opinion ; some time afterwards I picked up a buff cock 
similar in shape, but not nearly so good as the hen. 

About this time a gentleman with whom I was acquainted 
commenced to keep birds ; he was a manufacturer, and exported 
goods to Belgium. I suggested to him that it would be a good 
plan if he were to commission his agents in Antwerp to procure 
for him a pair or two of the best Belgian canaries they could 
obtain, and to instruct them to employ some well-known fancier 
to select the birds ; and f urthermore to send the kind that was 
most highly esteemed in that country. He adopted my sugges- 
tion, and in due time four birds arrived, and they proved to be 
the very identical counterparts of my "deformed" hen. The 
agent* wrote to say that they were of the best and most highly- 
prized strains, $nd were much dearer than the birds usually sold 
for exportation. This settled the matter at once, and I was 
greatly pleased with the discovery ; the cross breeds soon gave 
way to the thoroughbreds, and I had numerous applications for 
the progeny of my "crooked backed" birds, as they were fre- 
quently designated. Three or four years after this some of our 
most ardent fanciers ventured across the Channel and selected 
their own stock, and the best birds I have ever seen have 
been imported birds. 

IMPORTING BIRDS. It is not a long journey neither is it a 
very expensive one, so that anyone wishing to obtain high-class 
stock would do well to take a trip to the Continent; those desirous 
of doing so can embark either at Hull or London. A boat leaves 
Hull for Antwerp every Wednesday, and returns the Saturday 

216 The Canary Book. 

following ; the single fare is 15s., return tickets cost 22s. 6d. 
The passage occupies about twenty-four or twenty-five hours 
from port to port. The Hotel de 1'Europe is a place where 
every comfort can be procured ; all waiters and servants speak 
English, and the charges are extremely moderate. Any further 
information about the boats, &c., can be procured from Messrs. 
Gee and Co., agents, Hull. No fancier need be deterred by the 
fact that he is unable to speak the language of the country, as 
any of the waiters at the hotel I have named will readily get 
him an interpreter, who, on payment of a small fee, will 
accompany him to the different breeders, and assist him to make 
his purchases. Besides Antwerp, good birds can be obtained at 
Brussels and Ghent, these being the three principal towns for 
getting the best birds at. Prices vary in accordance with quality 
and the particular season of the year; the best time to go is 
probably the month of September, after the close of the breeding 
season, as birds are most plentiful then, and as a matter of 
course you have a better chance of selecting something to suit 
you, and at a lower price than you would pay at a more advanced 
period of the year. The Belgians set great value upon their best 
birds, and high prices are demanded for prize specimens, but 
moderate or faulty birds highly bred can be purchased at reason- 
able prices. High class birds range from forty francs upwards 
(1 13s. 4d. in English money), but fabulous prices are asked for 
rare gems. Belgian canaries are readily acclimatised in England 
and Wales, as also in Ireland and Scotland ; there is not a great 
difference in the temperature of these countries. Belgium lies 
between 49deg. 30sec. and 51deg. 30sec. north latitude, and 
between 2deg. 30sec. and 6deg. 5sec. east longitude, whereas 
England including Wales extends from 49deg. 58sec. to 55deg. 
46sec. north latitude, and from 5deg. 40sec. west, to Ideg. 
45sec. east longitude. These birds, however, do not endure the 
cold so well as most other known varieties. The Belgian 
fanciers esteem their own breed of canaries far before all others, 
and set little value upon some of our esteemed varieties, such as 
Norwich Fancy, Lizards, and the like. 

CONSTITUTION. Belgian canaries are probably the most do- 
mesticated of a,ll the tribes of the Firing ilia Caw aria, and on thie 

The Belgian. 217 

account they are great favourites with most fanciers. They soon 
get accustomed to and become familiar with their regular 
attendants, and display very little of that timidity and nervous- 
ness so perceptible in many of the other varieties I refer mor<> 
especially to birds kept in a room set apart for their sole use, 
and which are only visited occasionally ; and were it not for one 
or two important considerations, they would doubtless become 
the most popular favourites of all true canary fanciers; the 
first of these is that they are naturally of a delicate constitution, 
as a rule, and appear to be predisposed to asthma and consump- 
tion, maladies not easily curable, and which carry off the 
major part of them; they like warmth, and it is a difficult 
matter to get birds of this breed strong enough to inure them to 
a room without fire during the winter months of the year. If 
they were kept in a room where a moderate and regular tem- 
perature could be kept up during the coldest period of the year, 
and when the north and east winds prevail, by means of hot 
water pipes or other contrivances, they no doubt would thrive 
well, and ultimately we may produce a race of birds more vigo- 
rous and healthy than those of the present day. Another draw- 
back is the enormous price which prize birds of this variety 
usually bring, more particularly when you consider that the best 
and hardiest bird of its race would be so completely " used up " 
if it were sent round to compete at every show during one entire 
season, that it would be, literally speaking, worthless for the 
purpose of breeding from, if it did not kill it outright. I mysel f 
have known as much as 12 paid for a single bird, but I must 
confess that, taking him " all in all," I have not " looked upon 
his like again." Great care should be taken of Belgian canaries 
during the moulting season, as at this time, more than at any 
other, they are likely to contract the diseases before mentioned; 
they ought invariably to be kept covered over during this 
eventful period in their lives. 

BREEDING. In selecting stock for the purpose of breeding, 1 
would recommend fanciers to purchase nothing but good birds. 
I do not mean all prize birds, or even show birds, but one of the 
parents at least ought to be par excellence, and for this purpose I 
prefer the male bird to excel in the qualities which are most 

218 The Canary Book. 

highly esteemed, although good birds are often produced when 
the reverse of this recommendation is carried out, but in that 
case, much, I imagine, depends upon the constitution of the 
hen ; nevertheless, I prefer to adhere to the plan I have already 
named. Few people succeed in obtaining good birds from 
moderate parents, even when they are known to be highly bred ; 
but with one good bird judiciously matched with a moderate 
bird known to be of a good strain the best results are often 

If you possess, say a large strong male bird, with great length 
of body, good legs, fine sweeping tail, and long slender neck, but 
deficient in shoulder and coarse in feather, you must match him 
with a hen possessing large shoulders, and close and compact in 
feather, regardless of all other properties ; that is to say, never 
mind if she is rather small, and somewhat short in the legs and 
neck ; the chief features that you require are those specified to 
create a suitable match for the cock I have described. If the 
hen, in addition to the qualities named, possesses other good 
properties, so much the better, and so much more likely will she 
be to produce a greater number of good specimens, but if you 
succeed in breeding one first-class bird of a single pair of birds 
in a season, you may consider you have done remarkably well. 

I do not recommend putting nothing but show birds together, 
as when birds are too highly bred their progeny are correspond- 
ingly tender. Another thing which I wish you clearly to under- 
stand is this : never put two birds together posaessing the same 
points of merit, unless they both possess in an equal or approxi- 
mate degree all the good qualities desired what I mean, is, 
never put two moderate birds together; say, for instance, two 
birds both being deficient in some essential qualities such as 
two birds of a diminutive kind, or two birds wanting in develop- 
ment of shoulders, chest, neck, legs, &c. ; but always contrive to 
pair your birds in such a manner that the one bird predominates 
in the opposite features to the others, as by adopting this 
method you are pretty certain to get one or two birds at least 
which will inherit the peculiarities of both parents so blended 
that the result will, in all probability, prove highly satisfactory 
to you. It is usual to pair a yellow cock and a buff hen together, 

The Belgian. 2ig 

or vice versa, as the case may be. It will, however, be found very 
advantageous to breed from two buff birds occasionally, in 
preference to a yellow and buff, as it tends materially to improve 
the size, constitution, and feathers of the birds ; but it must not 
be repeated too frequently, or it will produce coarseness. Some 
fanciers occasionally pair two jonque (yellow) birds together in 
order to produce fineness, but the produce are generally deficient 
in plumage ; but a bird bred from two yellows, and mated with 
one bred from two buffs, or, better still, one bred from double 
buffs twice over that is, a bird bred from two buffs, and a 
second time mated with a buff, the produce of the last cross 
very frequently breed the handsomest and best birds. 

If you desire to breed variegated Belgians, be sure to select 
two or three well-marked birds, cocks or hens, not too heavily 
marked, and pair these with clear birds of the opposite colours 
and sexes, select from the produce of these birds those which are 
best marked, and couple them again with clear birds, taking care 
to pair them in accordance with instructions already given, with 
reference to breeding clear Belgian canaries, in order that you 
may effect a general improvement in the cdntour and tout 
ensemble of your birds. If you happen to breed more clears than 
you care for, put a marked bird with a clear bird bred from a 
variegated strain, and by this means you will soon restore the 
markings. If you put two marked birds together, unless they 
are both lightly marked, they are very apt to produce young 
birds too heavily marked, and if this plan is persevered with, 
that is, the re-crossing of variegated birds, you will ultimately 
produce them nearly all green together ; and occasionally you 
will get an entirely green specimen. 

Be very particular in selecting birds for breeding purposes ; 
satisfy yourself that they are perfectly healthy this is a most 
essential consideration, and one which cannot be too rigidly 
carried out as much depends upon your first selection of 
breeding stock for your future success in establishing a race of 
birds which is likely to reward you for your trouble. Never 
breed from diseased birds, however good they may be, or you 
will in all probability propagate the complaints from which the 
suffer 1 refer more especially to asthma and consumption 

The Canary Book. 

and thereby sow the seed of hereditary disease. I know it is 
very galling, and even tempting, when you possess a magnificent 
specimen of this variety affected with one or other of these 
direful complaints, and have to forego the pleasure which you 
had doubtless looked forward to ere the disease presented itself in 
outward form, but for all that it is a real necessity, if you want 
to produce healthy progeny, with vigour and action; you must 
brook the disappointment manfully, and I am sure you will never 
regret your conduct in after years. You had far better termi- 
nate the existence of a bird of this kind in the most humane 
manner possible, a thousand times over, than be led to so rash 
an act as to couple it with a healthy partner and breed from it. 
as the disease would be sure to show itself sooner or later, in 
most, if not all, of the birds bred from such parents. 

When you are selecting birds to breed from, it will be well to 
bear in mind that two-years-old cocks are preferable to one-year- 
old birds, and their produce are generally stronger and more 
robust. In fact, I think it desirable not to attempt to breed 
with male birds the first season, for they often fail to impregnate 
the eggs, or most of them, and it unquestionably weakens their 
constitutions, which is a material consideration. I do not object 
to breed with one-year-old hens. 

BEARING. A great many bird fanciers will tell you that 
Belgian canary hens are " bad breeders," that is, bad nurses, but 
they seldom consider how much they have themselves to blame 
for this apparent want of maternal affection ; their over-anxiety 
or curiosity frequently leads them to meddle with the birds 
during the process of incubation, or shortly after the eggs are 
hatched; indeed, I have known some men so foolish as to 
disturb a hen every fifteen or twenty minutes whilst she was 
busy hatching; forcing her off the nest each time merely to 
ascertain whether she had hatched another egg. How such men 
can expect birds to perform their duties satisfactorily, under 
such circumstances, is more than I can say. The majority oi 
canary hens, without distinction of class, instinctively becomr 
jealous at this particular time, more especially for the first few 
days after they hatch ; and if the curiosity of fanciers incites 
them to such acts of indiscretion they must not express dissatis 

The Belgian. 221 

faction with the result. I am quite certain that a great many 
hens, which doubtless otherwise would supply the wants of their 
progeny well enough, are by such treatment completely spoilt. 

Always give a hen, and more especially a Belgian canary, a 
fair chance, and if she is in good health and left entirely alone, 
the probabilities are more in favour of her proving a good nurse 
than a bad one. I have repeatedly heard it asserted that 
common canary hens are the best mothers, and without doubt 
they are as good as any ; but experience informs me that they 
are little or no better than hens of many other varieties if they 
are interfered with. There are no canaries more attentive to 
their duties in assisting to rear their broods than the male birds 
of the Belgian variety ; and I see no reason why the females 
should not prove correspondingly attentive. At one time I bred 
a large number of these birds ; and one season I reared twenty - 
six birds from four pairs ; three of the hens fed their own off- 
spring, and one pair reared nine birds themselves, but this may 
be considered exceptional ; still it is not beyond the bounds of 
probability to effect a similar coup de la bonne fortune. Leave 
them alone to their own maternal instincts, treat them the same 
as you would birds comparatively worthless, and you will find 
that Belgian hen canaries are far better nurses than you were 
led to suppose. 

If a hen is delicate or out of health, you cannot reasonably 
expect her to perform her duties satisfactorily, and in such 
cases you must transfer her eggs to another hen on which you 
can place reliance ; but do not bother her, not even if she is a 
" common hen." If a hen has had a difficulty in laying her eggs, 
and has been prostrated in her efforts to do so, it would not, 
under such circumstances, be prudent to entrust her with the 
rearing of her progeny; therefore, if they are at all valuable, it 
will be advisable to effect a transfer with some other hen, whose 
produce you consider to be of much less importance. 

Always bear in mind the following maxim, " That which is 
naught is never in danger" i. e., that which is considered of no 
intrinsic value ; for, although you may, as most likely you will, 
think very highly of some of your birds, and set great store by 
them, you will nevertheless find it a golden rule to treat them as 

222 The Canary Book. 

though they were next to worthless. Do not disturb them any 
more than you can possibly help, and leave them as much to 
themselves as circumstances will permit, and I am sure the 
result will be, in the majority of instances, satisfactory alike to 
khe birds and to yourself. 

It sometimes happens that the young Belgian canaries are 
weak and puny, and have not sufficient strength to raise their 
heads for the purpose of receiving nutrition from their parents 
during the first two or three days after they are hatched. In 
the former event you must administer food to them in small 
quantities, at short intervals, for the first three days, and if the 
mother appears to sulk, and refuses to feed them afterwards, 
they must be transferred forthwith to a foster parent. (For 
further particulars see chapter on Breeding, page 51.) 

As soon as the young birds are able to cater for themselves, 
place them in large cases, with plenty of length, breadth, and 
height, so that they will have ample room for exercise, which 
will be found very beneficial and conducive both to their health 
and well-being. 

RUNNING OUT. When they reach the age of seven or eight 
weeks you must begin to train them to " run out," that is, to 
teach them to go in and out of their usual domiciles, a la 
Belgique, into show cages, as it is a most reprehensible practice 
to catch birds of this variety with your hands, and a custom 
which is very apt to scare and frighten them. This performance 
is easy of accomplishment, and should be achieved in the follow- 
ing mother. First catch the bird you desire to teach, and place 
it in a show cage with a sliding door, and allow it time to settle 
down quietly ; then take another cage, a fac simile of the last 
named, and place the doors opposite each oilier, taking care to 
raise the sliding doors to their full height, and place the aper- 
tures directly opposite each other ; next take a piece of thin wood 
or lath, previously rounded, and perfectly smooth, like the top of 
a fishing rod, about two feet or two and a half feet in length a 
portion of a penny cane stick will answer the purpose quite well. 
Put this quietly and carefully through the wires of the cage in 
which the bird is placed, and endeavour to drive it, in the 
easiest manner possible, into the other cage. Be sure to 

The Belgian. 223 

exercise your utmost patience and skill, and above all, do not 
irritate or excite the bird. First put the stick above the bird, 
and force the latter gently to the bottom of the cage, moving the 
stick slowly and dexterously in such a manner as to induce the 
bird to approach the entrance to the adjoining cage ; but by all 
means keep your temper, for if you attempt rough usage you will 
most assuredly frighten the bird an occurrence which must be 
avoided if possible. Speak softly and kindly to it during this 
operation, and with a little perseverance and careful manipu- 
lation you are certain of success. If the bird exhibits symptoms 
of fear, leave the cages in the position indicated for a day or two, 
and it will become familiar with the arrangement, and pass 
from one cage to the other of its own accord. After this you will 
have no difficulty in getting it to pass readily in and out of the 
cages. If you find that you are necessitated to have recourse to 
the latter plan, place a little maw-seed, or a little egg and bread, 
or some tempting delicacy, in the empty cage, which will induce 
it the more readily to enter. After you are satisfied that the 
bird understands what it is required to do, run it into a breeding 
cage, and repeat the same treatment until it becomes a proficient 
pupil. When a bird is once properly drilled in this manner it 
never forgets it, and after it becomes a thorough adept at it you 
will find it of the greatest use in assisting you to train other 
birds. Having fairly succeeded in your endeavours to train one 
bird, place another beside it, and continue the same practice as 
before ; you will find the other bird soon follow suit, although 
it may show a little awkwardness at first, and in this manner 
you will be able in a few weeks to teach all the birds in your 
possession to come and go from one cage to another. 

GETTING INTO POSITION. As soon as you discover that you 
are the possessor of a Belgian canary fit for competition, you 
ought to proceed to train it not only to " run out," but to get into 
show position; this is done in a variety of ways, and depends 
greatly upon the temperament and disposition of the bird. If it is 
at all nervous or timid, you will need to exercise great care and 
attention and the utmost vigilance, particularly at the com- 
mencement; you must approach it with great caution and very 
leisurely, chirruping to it with your mouth, or speaking to it 

224 The Canary Book. 

tenderly in low, soft accents for birds are quite capable of 
appreciating blandishments and endearments and by this 
means you will more readily acquire the confidence of your pupil. 
As soon as it appears to be on friendly terms with you, lift the 
cage and move it about in a quiet way, and as soon as it becomes 
familiarised with " handling," move the cage about more freely, 
raise it well up and scrape your finger nails along the bottom 
not too roughly; the noise will attract its attention, and it will 
instantly appear on the qui vive ; if it does not dash about or 
appear too fidgety, you may move the false bottom or draw- 
board gently to and fro, first slowly, and afterwards more rapidly. 
As soon as it becomes thoroughly accustomed to this mode of 
treatment, you may introduce the stick you use for the purpose 
of a " running wand ;" put it through the wires in the rear of 
the bird, and push it with the utmost care and gentleness 
beneath the perch on which the bird is placed; let it project 
two or three inches in front of it, and then proceed to move 
it about slowly and quietly; if it is not startled it will commence 
to " pull " itself together, raising its shoulders and lowering 
its head, and will stretch its legs to the utmost of its ability. 
This is what you desire it to do, but if you continue it too long 
it will probably wheel round suddenly, in which case the wand 
must be withdrawn at once, and after the lapse of a few seconds 
introduce it again the same as before ; continue this practice for 
ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, not less than once a week, 
and not more than three or four times at the most, or you will 
make it too familiar, which is nearly as much to be deplored as 
if it were too shy. It is a good plan to place the cage against 
a wall during this operation, more particularly if the bird is 
timid or unsteady in his movements. Sometimes it is necessary 
to pass the wand in a rapid and dexterous manner underneath 
the cage, allowing it to project suddenly in front or at the side 
of the bird, but this is only required when the bird becomes too 
bold. Experience will suggest to the operator other devices for 
the performance of this necessary exercise. 

CLASSES. Belgian Canaries are capable of being divided into 
eight distinct classes, i.e. : clear yellow, clear buff, ticked yellow, 
ticked buff, evenly-marked yellow, evenly-marked buff, unevenly- 

The Belgian. 225 

marked yellow, unevenly-marked buff ; although it rarely 
happens that they are divided into more than four, and some- 
times fewer. The clears are almost invariably the best birds, 
nevertheless it does occasionally happen that a very lightly 
marked or ticked bird can be obtained quite as good in standard 
points as the very best of clear birds ; hence, I think that where 
four classes only are provided for this variety of birds, the 
ticked and clears ought to compete together, and the evenly - 
marked and variegated should be arranged under one head. 
Buffs and yellows cannot be shown together on equitable terms, 
as the buff birds generally have much advantage in size, &c. It 
is likewise a well established fact that the variegated birds are 
much inferior in points of merit to the clear birds. This is 
somewhat difficult to account for, unless we could believe that 
the progenitors of the last named were originally all clear 
yellows and buffs, and that the marked variety are the result of 
a foreign admixture, and that whenever the birds appear in the 
mixed plumage they inherit more largely the properties of this 
allied blood. Be this as it may, it is a singular and undoubted 
truth that the more heavily a Belgian bird is marked the more 
deficient he is sure to be in all the essential characteristics which 
constitute a high- class bird of this variety. 

POINTS. The points required to constitute a high-class Bel- 
gian canary are as follows : A small sleek head, rather flat on 
the crown, well set, with nicely chiselled jaws, a neat, well-formed 
beak, a full eye, a long slender neck, delicately formed, and 
having the appearance of being chiselled, and which should be 
gracefully curved downwards from the junction of the head to the 
commencement of the shoulders ; the shoulders should be broad, 
very prominent, and well formed, rounding towards the back, 
with an elegant curved line ; the back should be well filled in. 
From the termination of the deflection of the shoulders to 
the back, the back as well as the tail should be almost perpen- 
dicular, with the slightest possible inflection towards an inner 
curve; the chest should be prominent and well developed in 
front, but flat at the sides; the waist long, small, and finely 
formed, with an inward curve towards the thighs; the legs 
should be long and straight, and well set, with well-made 

226 The Canary Book. 

substantial thighs and good shanks and feet; the tail should be 
long, narrow, neat, and compact, and ought to resemble in 
appearance the shank of a pipe; the wings should be well 
formed, firmly placed, and hung close to the body of the bird, 
the tips coming close to the rump; colour and fineness of 
feather are minor points, but still must be considered. When a 
bird is in position, he should stand quite straight on his legs 
with his head well forward and down below the line of his 
shoulders, the latter being well up. The chief feature 
observed is the form and general contour the easy, majestic, 
graceful carnage of the bird commonly called " standage " 
this being most essential, and an indispensable characteristic in 
a true show bird. There should be a decided appearance of 
hauteur in its manner and bearing. 

SHOW FORM. In Belgium this variety of bird is called the 
" bird of position," and the more readily and easily it acquires 
the position desired the more valuable it is. Some birds are 
very apathetic, and require a deal of rousing to get them up to 
show form. This is often the result of too much handling or ill- 
health; the birds get too familiar with it, and, consequently, 
treat it contemptuously. Other birds, again, are too nervous, and 
require to be gently handled, or they will throw themselves out 
of form through fear ; but I will treat of this part of the subject 
under a different heading. 

SYMMETRY. There is another important consideration in 
judging Belgian canaries, and one which is too frequently 
overlooked, and that is proportion, or uniformity of features 
throughout. For example, picture to yourself a small bodied 
bird with extraordinary large shoulders, and short stiff legs, and 
a short neck; why it is simply distorted to ugliness. Again, 
imagine a particularly slender bodied bird with a huge head, 
thick straight neck, and a stunted tail. All known standards 
of beauty, whether of the human form or of animals, or other 
things, are regulated by symmetry, and it is equally applicable 
to birds. No doubt it is a difficult matter, if not an impossi- 
bility, to obtain a bird possessing all the qualities enumerated. 
Nevertheless a very close approximation to the object sought 

The Belgian. 227 

after is occasionally to be found, and when it is, we should do 
all we can to show our appreciation of its many excellent 
qualities. A very little matter will often disfigure what would 
otherwise be regarded as a good specimen of a Belgian canary. 
Take, for example, a long fine bird, with a sleek flat head, long 
slender neck, well developed shoulders, and short legs those 
known as " sickle legged " (hook-shaped) ; this alone would pre- 
vent the bird from assuming that position which is regarded by 
all connoisseurs as the true line of beauty, and, consequently, its 
other grand qualities would be seriously counterbalanced by this 
great drawback. 

STANDARD OP EXCELLENCE. In adopting a standard of 
points for judging canaries, I think I cannot do better than 
follow the plan pursued by the Americans, and that is, to 
give the maximum of perfection as representing one hundred 
points, as by the application of this method any person will 
be enabled to compute the relative value of each individual 
feature separately : 


Head 6, Neck 7, Shoulders 10 23 

Back 10, Chest 5, Waist 6 21 

Legs 8. Tail 6, Wings 4 18 

Size 7. Colour 3, Quality of Feathers 3 13 

Contour or Position 15 

Condition 10 

Total 100 

In judging marked birds I would allow ten points for mark- 
ings ; and, as no bird is perfect, a good margin will always be 
left to work upon ; consequently it is not necessary to give 
another table merely to distinguish the single difference, as in 
all other respects the one already given is equally applicable to 
the variegated birds as it is to the clear varieties. 

nate possessor of exhibition birds, and you wish to introduce 
them to the public in that character, it will be necessary for you 
to prepare them for their debut. 

You must commence, about three weeks or a month prior to 
the first show at which you have resolved to give them a " run," 

228 The Canary Book. 

to feed them with a little hard-boiled egg, and stale but whole- 
some bread home made preferred or a little biscuit either 
luncheon or picnic will answer quite well ; if you use the latter 
it should be crushed to powder. Chop the egg fine, or rub it 
through a sieve or piece of perforated zinc ; if you use tin nests 
with bottoms made of the material just mentioned, rub it through 
one of these ; and if you choose bread in preference to biscuits, 
it must be rubbed through in the same way, or between the 
hands. Mix the ingredients in equal proportions ; let each bird 
have a small quantity of this food once a day ; prepare it fresh 
every morning, and in addition give it every alternate day half a 
small thimbleful of maw seed not more do not give green food 
of any kind. You should likewise give them occasionally a little 
soiled carrot, cut into small pieces, and placed between the wires 
of the cages ; this will give a fine glossy appearance to the 
feathers, and help to keep the birds in good condition. Show 
birds ought to be kept scrupulously clean. Their cages should 
be cleaned out at least once a week. 

It is an objectionable practice to wash Belgian canaries to send 
to shows, and ought not to be resorted to except under peculiar 
and pressing circumstances. Colour in these birds is merely a 
trifling consideration ; form being the chief characteristic. Still 
it is not by any means desirable to send a canary to a show as 
black as a chimney sweep when it can be avoided. If you reside 
in a large town, and in a locality surrounded by manufactories 
washing becomes an imperative necessity ; for however good 
a bird may be in all points, to see it clad in dirt and completely 
begrimed, is a thing which even the most considerate of judges 
is very loth to tolerate. Good condition adds greatly to a fine 
exterior either in birds or animals ; it is one of the things 
looked for and generally appreciated, and which reflects 
the greatest praise upon those who bestow the attentions 
necessary for its production. 

If, however, you happen to live in the suburbs of a large town, 
or in a small country town almost exclusively of an agricultural 
character, or in a village or hamlet, or detached dwelling, you 
ought to have little difficulty, with ordinary care and attention, 
in keeping your birds sufficiently clean to send them to shows 

^he Belgian. 229 

during the greater portion if not the entire show season- 
unless you have the dire misfortune, as some fanciers have, to be 
the occupant of a smoky house, in which case if you cannot remedy 
the evil you should have the chimney swept frequently, say once 
a month, or even oftener if a very bad case, from September to 
February in each year. You must likewise keep the cages 
containing the show birds covered with a thin material, close in 
texture, and, in addition to these precautions, you will find it 
advantageous to nail some "list" that is the outer edge, 
commonly called selvedge, of cloth (which can be obtained of 
any practical tailor merely for the asking) round the frame of 
the door of your bird room ; that is, up each side and along the 
top in such a manner as to make it project over the crevices 
between the door and the frame, and nail a lath an inch or so 
thick at the bottom of the door frame; as a matter of course, 
the latter must be put on inside of the door if it opens outward, 
but if it opens into the room then it must be outside. These 
appliances will be found of great service in keeping out the 
smoke. You might likewise, with some advantage, fasten a 
broad leather flap over the keyhole of the lock. 

With these arrangements it will be necessary to open the 
window occasionally, to let in a current of fresh air, unless there 
is a chimney with an open fireplace in the room. By careful 
attention to these directions your birds ought to require very 
little in the way of washing ; but if their feet are littered up 
with dirt, or their tails and wing-ends are tinged and soiled, it 
will be necessary to give them a slight wash two or three days 
before they are sent off for exhibition. This can be readily 
accomplished with a piece of clean flannel, a little scented or 
common soap, and some clean warm water. First make a soap 
lather upon the flannel, and apply it to the parts that require to 
be cleansed; lastly, rinse off with pure water, using another 
clean cloth or flannel for this purpose ; dry the feathers as much 
as you can with an old silk handkerchief, and place the bird in a 
warm room until he is quite dry : be sure to get the soap thoroughly 
out of the feathers. Show birds should be supplied with a bath 
once a week, if the weather is not too cold. Glass vessels, such 
as preserve or jelly dishes, are best adapted for their use ; and 

230 The Canary Book. 

the birds take to them much more readily than they do to dishes 
made of earthenware or clay. 

PACKING FOB SHOW. Whenever you send Belgian canaries 
to a show, be careful to wrap them well up and make them as 
cosy as possible. I would advise you to have green baize or 
scarlet flannel covers made to put over the show cages, and 
to pack them in boxes or cases specially made for this purpose, 
each to contain four, .six, or eight birds; but I think one to 
hold six is quite large enough to move about with freedom 
and ease. The cases can be made with light wood, skeleton 
frames, and covered with canvas or thin oil-cloth, or some similar 
material; the advantage of using the latter is their lightness, 
as they cost less in transit. The carriage of birds to and from 
exhibitions is often a considerable item, and amounts to a good 
round sum at the end of the year if you send a dozen or twenty 
birds to every show of importance during the entire season. 

TREATMENT BY SECRETARIES. You will find it of advantage 
to write to the secretaries of shows to ascertain whether the 
hall or room in which the show is intended to be held is warmed 
by the use of fires or stoves, and whether your birds can be 
received a day or two before that on which the birds are to 
be judged; but probably it would not be advisable to do this 
if the antecedents of the secretary and committee are unknown 
to you : but where you can rely upon any individual immediately 
connected with an exhibition, it will be found commendable 
to adopt this plan, for if Belgian canaries are exposed during 
cold weather and become chilled on their journey to a show, 
they are certain to lose their best form, and the result is 
very frequently unsatisfactory both to the judges and exhibitors. 
All birds newly come off a journey should have warm water, and 
not cold, given them to drink, and you should request secretaries 
to be careful always to give your birds a supply of this about 
the same temperature as you would drink tea, as soon as they 
receive them; never forget to send along with the birds a supply 
of fresh egg and bread, with a sprinkling of maw seed among it, 
to be given them as soon as they reach their destination. The 
same treatment must be observed as soon as they reach home 

The Belgian. 231 

on their return journey. Several instances have come within 
my own personal knowledge where Belgian canaries have been 
set long distances in cold, bleak, wintry weather, with the 
thermometer several degrees below freezing point, carelessly 
packed, and badly protected against the bitter, biting winds and 
falling snow. When the birds arrived they were "all in a 
heap," shivering, and stupefied from the effect of the cold, and, 
as might be expected, sat dull and mopish, and would not 
" pull " themselves together. No wonder, then, that these birds 
arriving only an hour or two before the judges were called 
upon to decide upon their merits, were passed by unnoticed. 
Next day, after they had got thoroughly warmed up, they might 
have been seen "pulling" over everything in the class, to the 
great chagrin of both judges and exhibitors. But who was 
to blame ? How often are judges of these birds subjected to 
derision, by the unthinking portion of the " fancy," who hurl at 
the heads of those poor unoffending men the most uncompli- 
mentary and opprobrious epithets, when in reality no just 
censure is attributable to them. 

ADVICE TO JUDGES. A hint here to judges and others 
connected with shows may be found useful. As soon as you 
enter a show where you have been chosen to act in a judicial 
capacity, I would recommend you in the first place to take a look 
through the classes for Belgian canaries. If you find a bird 
drooping, call the attention of the secretary or other responsible 
person to the fact, and request that such bird, or birds, may 
at once be conveyed to the immediate locality of a fire or stove, 
and there gradually warmed. In a case of this kind, always 
leave the judging of these classes to the last; take care, 
however, to have the bird, or birds, returned to their place fully 
half an hour before you pronounce your final verdict on their 
merits, otherwise, if the bird, or birds, had not time to cool 
down, it, or they, might possibly get some slight advantage over 
their antagonists who had not received a similar privilege. 
Committees, too, should invariably place the Belgian classes in 
the wannest part of the room. I have always found these 
precautions, whether acting in the capacity of a judge, secretary, 
or a committee-man, to give satisfaction. In judging Belgian 

232 The Canary Book. 

canaries, the greatest caution and discrimination are necessary, 
as all thoroughly practical men with ordinary observation must 
know that some birds, and especially those which have never 
been accustomed to " handling," are nervous and frightened, and 
consequently require to be approached with great care and 
circumspection, or they will plunge and dash about the cage in 
a panic-stricken manner, like a newly-caught linnet; and it 
requires some time to get them to settle steadily after this 
fantastic performance. 

Other birds, on the contrary, who have been " over-trained," 
take an immense deal of energy to raise them to a sense of their 
duties. In cases of this kind I have invariably found it best to 
lift the cage containing the bold bird, and, placing it in front of 
me, have stealthily approached the timorous and fidgety one, 
taking care to do so in the most gentle manner possible, and by 
whistling or chirruping, or speaking softly and kindly I have 
generally succeeded in getting it to steady itself, whilst by a 
little manoeuvring I have managed to get it into position. But 
birds of this stamp are very unsatisfactory to everybody con- 
cerned. If fanciers will only adopt the method of training 
previously pointed out, their birds will become bold and fearless, 
but it must not be overdone, or the remedy will be as much to be 
dreaded as the defect. 

RULES OF A BELGIAN SOCIETY. It will be interesting to 
English fanciers if I give them a translation of an old copy of 
rules, which I have in my possession, of a society established at 
Brussels. More especially at this time when a National Society 
is considered by most fanciers a very desirable institution. 

The following is a literal translation of the rules referred to : 


Central Society of Emulation formed at Brussels for the Societies and Amateur 
Fanciers of Belgian Canaries. 



Chapter I The Society Its aim. 

Article 1. Formed at Brussels, dating from 3rd October, 1854, a central company 
of emulation for the societies and the amateur fanciers of canaries of the kingdom 

The Belgian. 233 

of Belgium, to be called, The Central Society of Emulation. The society's year 
to commence on the 1st January and end 31st December of each year. 

Art. 2. The institution of the society has for its aim (a) To bind and con- 
solidate the bonds of brotherhood by which all amateurs are united; (b) to 
regulate the assembling, and to determine the formation of juries ; (c) to form 
measures of emulation in order to stimulate more and more the zeal and devoted- 
ness of all the amateur canary fanciers of the kingdom. 

Chapter II. Admission Society's Funds. 

Art. 3. The election of candidates as members of the society shall take place 
on written application to the committee, who shall decide on the admissibility of 
the applicants. 

Art. 4. The subscription shall be 75 centimes (7|d.), which shall be paid in 
advance quarterly, either in money to the treasurer, who will give a receipt, or 
by P.O.O. in the name and to the address of the president, in which latter case 
the P.O.O. shall be held as proof of payment. 

Art. 5. Any member who, at the expiration of three months from the time 
fixed for the payment of the subscription, may not have paid, will be considered 
no longer a member of the society. 

Art. 6. The society's funds shall be applied to the payment of premiums, 
expenses of meeting, and the charges of correspondence, office rent, 4o. 

Chapter III. Colours and Insignia.- 

Art. 7. The colours and insignia adopted as distinctive marks of the Central 
Society and by its members shall be yellow and blue, with embroidered roses, and 
a silver medal, having upon its face the emblem of the society in vermilion, 
encircled by the inscription, " Central Society of Emulation of the Amateurs of 
Canaries of the Kingdom of Belgium," and on the reverse, two Fringilla canaries, 
perched on an olive branch, and encircled by the device Peace Union Progress. 

Art. 8. The wearing of insignia to be determined as follows : (a) All members 
of the Central Society may wear at the buttonhole the medal, suspended by a 
ribbon of the colours above noticed ; (b) members of the committee and of the 
jury shall so wear the medal in saltier, with ribbon of the same colours; (c) the 
president and vice-president shall wear in addition the colours of the Central 
Society, scarfwise or crosswise. 

Chapter IV. Meetings Assemblies Juries. 

Art. 9. A general show of canaries among all the members of the society shall 
take place about February in each year. To participate in the show it is requisite 
to have been a member of the society for the whole of the previous year. 

Art. 10. The order and locality where the shows shall be held shall be decided 
by drawing lots. All the members of the Central Society indiscriminately may 
enter the list, but for a town to enjoy the right to obtain a place it must have H 
society of ten members at least, being members of this society. 

Art. 11. Delegates of societies adhering to the present rules shall meet at least 
once a year, at a general meeting to be hold at Brussels, in order to settle the com- 
position of juries, the basis of shows and the prizes. Societies failing to comply 
must abide by the decision of the members present. 

Art. 12. No society shall send more than two members as delegates to the pene'al 

234 The Canary Book. 

meeting. A special regulation determining the basis and conditions of ench 
assembly shall be settled at the general meeting. 

Art. 13. The j ary shall contain, as far as possible, sufficient elements to repre- 
sent all the provincial societies. For this purpose the jury shall be composed 
of active or ordinary members. Members forming this jury to be named at the 
general assembly of the delegates held yearly, by show of hands. Jurors may 
participate in the show, but when appealed to for the price of a bird belonging 
to the class to which they are contributors, they shall instantly be replaced by 
ordinary members. 

Chapter V.Tlie Committee Its Powers. 

Art. 14. The committee to be chosen and elected from the members of the 
Central Society, to consist of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and 
assistant secretary. 

Art. 15. The president to be head of the society, his special functions and those 
of the other members of the committee to be determined by the bye-laws. 

Art. 16. The committee shall meet at least once a month, at the head office, to 
take into consideration letters and writing, and so to act as they shall judge for 
the common interest of the members of the society. 

Art. 17. The committee shall be re-elected every three years, the members 
retiring being eligible for re-election. 

Art. 19. Any additional rule or thing not provided for by these rules shall be 
presented in writing to the committee by five members at least, and taken into 
consideration at a general meeting. 

Art. 20. A copy of the present rules to be sent to all the societies and to all the 
amateurs of Belgian canaries, for their information and approval and convenience. 

Made and settled at Brussels, at a general meeting of the fanciers, the 17th 
Oct. 1854. 

Our illustration is an excellent representation of a modern 
Belgian canary of the highest order. 





I DO not know how it happens, but the tastes and ideas of 
Scotchmen and Englishmen are so thoroughly at variance with 
each other respecting canaries which may almost be said to be 
national favourites that any person not knowing the close 
proximity which exists between the two countries might very 
readily suppose that the two races were complete aliens to each 
other. On the one hand, Scotchmen as a rule care nothing for 
gay, glittering colours ; nothing for beautiful even markings, 
nor delicately tinted pencillings ; neither do they attach much 
value to crests, however good or exquisite they may be. "What 
they admire most of all about canaries ia huge size, plenty of 
bone, sinew, and muscle, combined with a certain peculiarity of 
form which, to use their own vernacular, they are pleased to 
term "hoopit," meaning circular in shape. To these birds 
they appear to be completely wedded, and they uphold 
them with a zeal and pertinacity that is almost enviable. 
But this is only characteristic of the people, for Scotchmen 
are proverbial for adhering, not only to each other, but to every- 
thing that appertains to Scotland, and which they are sure to 
laud, extol, and defend to the very uttermost of their power and 
abilities; indeed, so much so, that it has become quite an ordinary 
observation in England to say to any one similar in disposition, 
" You are as clannish as a Scotchman ;" and this singularity of 
character is just as strongly exhibited among the bird fancying 
portion of the community as it is among any other class. 
Scotchmen think very lightly of any other variety of canary 

236 The Canary Book. 

except the one which is nationalised to Scotland, unless it be the 
Belgian canaries. There are certainly a few among their number 
who are able to appreciate these birds ; but as for the Norwich 
Fancy, London Fancy, Yorkshire Fancy, and the like, they 
set little value upon these varieties, as a rule; and I do verily 
believe that many of them would not accept the best specimens 
of these birds that could be found, a,a a present, if they were 
given upon the condition that they were not to part with them, 
so great is their aversion to these varieties of canaries. On the 
other hand, very few of our English fanciers look with favour 
upon the Scotch Fancy birds; they regard them as mere 
" mongrels," and style them half and three-parts bred Belgian 
canaries, and say, " What is the use of breeding these birds ? 
far better go in for the genuine article at once." But the 
reason is that they do not understand the criterion of merit in 
these birds, and consequently they see them from a very different 
point of view to what Scotchmen do. 

I am not quite sure myself but that our far-seeing friends are 
after all much nearer the mark than we in England are prone to 
acknowledge. They have evidently discovered by experience that 
the Belgian birds are naturally so extremely delicate that they 
are not constitutionally adapted to the severity of our climate ; 
hence they have resolved to cross them with other birds, similar 
in form, but more hardy and thoroughly inured to this country, 
and have by this method produced a new variety, which is not 
very much inferior in point of symmetry, style, and majestic 
beauty to some of the Belgian birds, whilst they possess the 
advantage of being so thoroughly acclimatised as to be able 
to endure all the vicissitudes and hardships that can be borne by 
the strongest and hardiest of our other varieties. I do not con- 
tend that a " Don " or " Scotch Fancy " canary is equal to a high- 
class Belgian bird in external beauty far from it but I hold that 
they are by far the best substitutes that have been found ; and 
when once you clearly understand the features that are striven 
to be obtained in these birds, you gradually begin to appreciate 
them. If the prejudice which Englishmen entertain towards 
these birds could be overcome, I think they would rank high in 
general estimation in a short time ; but Englishmen appear to 

The Glasgow Don, or Scotch Fancy. 237 

have a difficulty in forgiving the Scotch fanciers for their utterly 
ignoring so many of our favourite varieties, and for treating 
them so ignominiously at most of their shows, never deigning to 
offer a single prize to any of the numerous classes which are to 
be found at any of the All England shows. It certainly is a 
circumstance to be regretted, and we hope that the fanciers at 
" Auld Reekie " (if at no other town) will so far relax their strin- 
gency as to offer at least an " Any other Variety of Canary " 
class at their shows in future.* 

I have tried hard to find out how the Scotch Fancy birds 
were originated, but the nearest approach that I have been able to 
make in this direction is to trace them back for a period of fifty- 
eight years to a breed of birds which, although much smaller in 
size and less elegant in form than the " Dons " of the present 
day, were nevertheless possessors of the circular form and the 
" souple " (supple) tail, which are still the predominating features 
in this particular variety of canaries; but a great improve- 
ment has been made in their appearance within the past twenty 
years, and the " style " of the bird, as it is commonly called, 
has been materially improved. At one time, if a bird showed the 
least prominence of shoulder it was regarded as unfit for compe- 
tition, and a good bird was supposed not to exhibit his thighs 
when standing in proper position. Now the taste of that period 
has completely changed, and good prominent, well -filled shoulders 
are considered an indispensable requisite, and if a bird shows a 
little thigh it is not considered any detriment, so long as its 
general contour is correct. 

The old-fashioned Dons appear to have emanated from Glas- 
gow. One of the oldest and most respected fanciers in Scotlandf 
informed me that he had known the breed for the past forty- 
eight years, and described them as " small birds" with " plenty of 
action," and " cranked necks " and " crooked tails ; " but where 
the birds really originated, or how they became the possessors of 
these peculiarities my informant did not say. But this is, it 

* Since the first edition of " The Canary Book " was published, I am pleased to find that 
some of our Scotch friends have not only given some encouragement to the English 
varieties at their shows, but I am still further pleased to find ihat some of them 
now Rfimire and ke>-p, and exhibit, some of these varieties. 

t The late Mr. Robert Forsyth, of Edinburgh, a most honourable and upright man. and 
respected by all who knew him. 

238 7^he Canary Book. 

seems, how they came to be named the " Glasgow Dons ;" but they 
are now better known as the " Scotch Fancy " canaries. The old- 
fashioned Don of the period just alluded to is rarely to be 
met with, as much improvement has been made in the breed 
first, by crossing them with the Dutch canary, a large strong 
bird, resembling the old-fashioned Belgian canary in shape, but 
with a heavily-frilled breast and back, and deficient in shoulders ; 
but latterly they have been still further improved by being 
crossed with Belgian canaries of a more modern type, but round 
in form, and having tails inclined to curve inward. 

BREEDING. To breed Scotch Fancy birds up to the mark, 
good stock birds must be procured of the right shape and style 
to begin with. These can be further improved by being crossed 
with Belgian canaries of the shape already mentioned ; but they 
must be smooth birds, as rough-feathered birds are regarded 
with disfavour by fanciers. From the first cross select those 
birds only that are of the true Don shape; discard the 
remainder. These birds ought to be crossed in with Dons 
again, and occasionally bred a little " sib " to keep the correct 
contour intact. Young Dons must be trained to travel, and 
you should commence their education at an early age, say when 
they are seven weeks old. Great care and caution are needed at 
first, as these birds are naturally of a wild and timid disposition, 
and if you once "gliff" them it is a long time before they 
forget it. Use the same precautions as I have recommended for 
training Belgian canaries, with this exception, that, instead 
of getting them to stand steady, you must excite them to action. 
They are trained to leap from perch to perch rapidly, and 
in doing this they best display their form, for which they are 
admired. At first you may use a thin lath or stick, but after- 
wards your fingers, or even the motion of your hand will be quite 
sufficient to induce them to display their agility. 

CLASSES. At all the principal shows in Scotland the Scotch 
Fancy birds are divided into eight classes at least i.e., yellow 
cocks, buff cocks, yellow hens, buff hens, flecked or piebald yellow 
cocks, flecked or piebald buff cocks, flecked or piebald yellow 
hens, flecked or piebald buff hens; and, in addition to these, 

The Glasgow Don, or Scotch Fancy. 239 

there are occasionally classes made for pairs at most of the leading 
shows, such as Glasgow. It will be observed that separate 
classes are provided for the females, as it is contended that they 
do not possess a fair chance when competing against masculine 
opponents ; but our brethren across the border can easily afford 
to do this, seeing that they rarely give classes for any other 
description of canaries, unless it be .for Belgian Fancy and the 
common variety. The meaning of the terms "flecked" and 
" piebald " is that the birds are marked or variegated in colour. 
In some of the midland counties of England the word " skewed " 
is used to signify the same thing. 

The enthusiasm displayed by the Scotch people for these 
birds is most wonderful, and the number of entries at some 
of their best shows is marvellous. I have known as many as 
fifty-eight buff hens competing in one class. One other fact is 
probably worthy of note, and that is that Scotchmen like, as the 
Irishmen put it, " a power o' judges ; " for, at the show held in 
Glasgow, on the 21st of November, 1868, there were no fewer 
than twelve judges appointed to officiate, the total number of 
birds exhibited on that occasion being 428. 

POINTS. There is a difference of opinion, even among 
Scotchmen, as to the " style " of their favourite birds, and this 
is accounted for by dividing the fanciers into what they them- 
selves have been pleased to designate the " old school " and the 
"new school." The former belong to that class of people who 
have a great aversion to changes, hence they still appreciate 
the little old-fashioned Don, whilst the latter are the go-a- 
heads that are always striving to get something better than 
their neighbours. I belong to the latter class, and for this 
reason I purpose giving the best description I can of the Scotch 
Fancy canary of the present day, and which is considered to be 
the beau ideal of a Glasgow Don by those who are looked 
upon as the best authorities on this subject. 

Length of bird from 6in. to 7^in. ; a few, but not many, may 
possibly exceed these dimensions; head small and flat on the 
crown, but full of character, with neatly rounded cheeks ; neck 
long and fine ; and gracefully arched shoulders rather promi- 
nent ; back narrow and long, and well filled up, tapering from the 

240 The Canary Book. 

shoulders to the tail ; chest full and well formed ; waist long and 
fine; legs long in the shank, with moderately long thighs; tail 
long, thin, and compact, well " circled," and very free (" souple"). 
The form of the bird from the crown of the head to the tip of 
the tail ought to resemble as near as possible the segment of a 
circle. The tail, which is considered to constitute one of its 
chief points of admiration, must be supple as supple can be, and 
should not exhibit the slightest symptom of stiffness ; it should 
be carried well under the perch without touching it. The legs 
ought to be set far back, and kept well under the bird. The 
carriage must be bold, free, and majestic, without restraint, and 
with a certain air of intrepidity about it. 

The markings most admired by Scotchmen are, singular to 
say, those which are almost universally despised by all English 
fanciers, viz. : An entirely dark head and collar, a breast mark 
(which, to be deemed really good, must resemble in form a 
horse's shoe), heavy wing markings, and a feather or two on each 
side of the tail; but markings go for very little, and only 
count when two birds are equal in other points. In a case of 
this kind the markings would be had recourse to to kick the 
beam ; but a dark, badly-marked bird would be placed before a 
perfectly marked one, if the latter was inferior in " style " to the 

Next to form of body, which is one of the great essential 
characteristics in a good Don, come style and carnage, 
and a well-formed, free tail ; for if a good bird possesses the 
former and lacks the latter qualities, he is looked upon pretty 
much in the same light as a woman would be if she were of good 
figure and had thoroughly classical features, but was wanting in 
vivacity without warmth, soul, inspiration a mere cold, 
phlegmatic beauty. A bird to be completely attractive must 
be full of life and action, which gives a charm and brilliancy to 
its external appearance that is lost without it this is style when 
combined with correct features. 

TRAVELLING. These birds are commonly trained to pass 
rather briskly from perch to perch by a motion of the hand. 
This is denoted " travelling," and unless a bird is a rapid and 
graceful mover its chances as a prize-taker are sure to be greatly 

The Glasgow Don, or Scotch Fancy. 241 

impaired. Whenever a bird travels from one perch to another 
the motion of its tail is critically observed, and unless it is 
perfectly free and glib it is reckoned a fault. 

STYLE. The. style of a bird is a weighty consideration with 
Scotchmen. Some fanciers prefer birds with substance about 
them, although the majority prefer them fine and slender: but 
if a bird only possesses in an eminent degree the circular form, 
good shoulders, fine waist, good carriage, activity, and a long 
free tail, with plenty of length, and compact in feather, the 
sticklers for stoutness or thinness soon disappear. 

STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE. The following standard has 
been carefully arranged, and will be found to give the relative 
value of the different points of merit attributable to each 
particular feature, 100 points being regarded as a maximum of 

perfection : 



Head 4 

Neck 6 

Shoulders 5 

Back 7 

Chest 4 

Waist \ 4 

Wings 3 

Legs 5 

Tail 12 

Size 8 

Form or Contour (circular) 18 

Style and Travelling 10 

Quality of Feathers 4 

Condition 10 

iofcai 100 

The bird represented in our illustration is a specimen of the 
first water. 



IT is with no inconsiderable amount of pleasure, I observe 
that this elegant and aristocratic member of the canary family 
has merged from its comparative seclusion, and now creates 
a wide-spread interest amongst a large portion of English 

Before this variety was described in the first edition of the 
" Canary Book," it was confined entirely to Scotland and the 
border towns of Berwick, Northumberland, and Cumberland. 
It is now over twenty years since I became warmly interested 
in this magnificent production of Scotia, for to our far-seeing 
and discriminating friends in North Britain are we indebted 
for this handsome race of birds, so full of grace, beauty, and 
refinement, elegance of form and contour, combined and 
blended in a symmetrical whole. 

Some eighteen years ago no other variety, with the solitary 
exception of the Belgian and common canary, were tolerated 
ayont the Tweed, but since that period great and rapid strides 
have been made in the endeavour to improve and make per- 
fect this variety. A keen and unerring eye for elegance of 
form is one of the natural instincts of Scotchmen, and most 
of them are gifted with critical and refined tastes as well, 
which guide them in their selection of birds of the most 
approved type. In the method of judiciously crossing these 
birds, exhibiting as they usually do much skill and care in 
producing all the points of merit and excellence observable 

The Modern Scotch Fancy. 243 

in high-class specimens, Scotch fanciers have been able to 
overcome many obstacles, and to breed out the defects 
noticeable in earlier specimens. 

The great advantage of the present improved race over the 
old-fashioned " Glasgow Don" the name by which it was 
originally known, but which I took the liberty to widen and 
extend when I wrote my book by giving the broader, and 
I think more effective title of the " Scotch Fancy " has been 
accomplished by blending with the old variety the most 
admirable qualities of the Belgian canary," this cross tending 
to improve the style, contour, and symmetry, as well as the 
ease and grace peculiar to these birds, which in reality con- 
stitute their chief features and individuality. One of the 
greatest difficulties to overcome by breeders has been deli- 
cacy of constitution, which arose in consequence of the use 
of the Belgian cross, these birds being naturally delicate and 
prone to disease, such as asthma and consumption. To a 
great extent this difficulty has now been overcome by care 
and judicious selection. The old Dons are a hardy, vigorous 
race of birds, and the cross with them and the Belgians has 
added vigour and robustness to the present breed (which some 
fanciers term the Scotia-Belgian Canary), many of which are 
strong, vigorous birds, and full of life and vivacity. They 
have likewise no doubt been greatly invigorated by acclima- 
tisation and a more effectual method of feeding than is prac- 
tised in Belgium. The groats given by Scotchmen to their 
birds add to the enlargement and strengthening of frame and 
muscle elements that are wanting in the sylph-like creatures 
that are so admired by the Belgians. 

It is now about seventeen years since the first edition of 
the "Canary Book" appeared, and in it I strove hard to 
create among all lovers of the canary a special interest in this 
particular variety, and I feel gratified that my efforts should 
have borne such good fruit. But our English fanciers have 
much to learn before they can hope to compete with Scotia's 
sons on the show bench, as they are not all fully aware of 
the characteristics most esteemed and valued, neither are they 


244 The Canary Book. 

well acquainted with the mode of obtaining them ; that has 
to be acquired by deep study and close observation, and it 
will require years of practical breeding to insure success, as 
Scotsmen do not as a rule believe in allowing their best birds 
to leave the country, whatever the temptation offered may be. 

I will, in dealing with this subject, endeavour to throw some 
light on the modus operandi to be observed in breeding, and 
I trust it will be the means of assisting and giving renewed 
hopes to Englishmen who are desirous of perfecting their 
strains, according to the most modern ideas prevalent among 
Scotsmen, as to what constitutes a " model " specimen of u 
gran' burd. 

Besides having lived for nearly ten years at that noted old 
border town, Berwick-on-Tweed, where several ardent fanciers 
and breeders of these birds reside, and in close proximity to 
Ayton, Hawick, Galashiels, and other border towns, where 
high-class specimens have at different times been produced, 
I have been in close communication for several years with 
many of the most eminent breeders in some of these towns 
and in Edinburgh, and have bred and successfully competed 
with birds of my own breeding against the most distinguished 
exhibitors in Scotland at that day. I hope, therefore, to be 
able to assist those who have not had the same opportunities 
of extending their knowledge. 

I have already, in the previous chapter, given full details 
of the old variety of the " Glasgow Don," and I will, in 
dealing with the new type, endeavour to set forth clearly and 
tersely the principal methods adopted by the best breeders of 
the day in obtaining, developing, and perfecting the high 
qualities possessed by the birds of the present day. It must, 
however, not be forgotten that there is even now a great deal 
of difference of opinion among the Scotch fanciers themselves, 
and a goodly proportion of those of the old school condemn 
the using of Belgian blood too freely, which they consider an 
innovation, and some even go so far as to say that the " grand 
old breed is being ruined by young go-a-heads." 

It is a common and prevalent idea among amateur bird 

The Modern Scotch Fancy. 245 

fanciers that experienced breeders will spontaneously divulge 
the best and most approved methods whereby show speci- 
mens of any and every variety of canary may be produced ; 
but a little reflection ought to convince them of the absurdity 
and the unreasonableness of such a notion, as it can scarcely 
be expected that men who have spent large sums of money 
and years of labour and study in producing and perfecting 
certain features and characteristics difficult of attainment 
by which they hope to reap some advantage, either pecu- 
niary or by making a name and becoming famous, are 
likely to stand at the corners of streets and proclaim to the 
world at large their hard-earned knowledge. Amateurs must 
therefore c!imb the ladder of fame for themselves ; long purses 
and advice obtained from experienced people aid beginners 
and novices very considerably, and save them much time and 
labour, but they must not expect experienced breeders to 
give advice without receiving from them a quid pro quo in 
lieu thereof. As a rule, breeders are very reticent in im- 
parting information which has cost them much labour to 
obtain, and few will blame them for their silence on a subject 
which has cost them so much time and money. But my ideas 
differ widely from that of the majority of fanciers, inasmuch 
as I think that by the general dissemination of knowledge, 
and by giving brother fanciers a helping hand up the rugged 
path that leads to fame, we multiply the number of bird 
lovers and bring within our ranks men of probity and in- 
telligence, thus at once extending the fancy and raising it to 
a higher standard. Personally, I consider that any man who 
is not willing to render all the assistance he can to his 
brother fanciers by imparting any discovery he may have 
made is hardly worthy of the name of a true fancier. 

Any person who possesses large means can claim at ex- 
hibitions or purchase from the exhibitors some of their most 
successful specimens, for the purpose of breeding or exhibiting; 
but this is only a preliminary step in the right direction for 
a beginner, for much has to be learnt of the methods of 
selection and crossing, as well as how to feed and prepare 

246 The Canary Book. 

birds for exhibition in order to achieve success, and this must 
be a matter of time and much vigilance. The " Dons " of 
half a century ago were described to me by an old fancier 
as "smallish birds, vara hookit in shape (circular in form), 
and had vara thin sma bodies and gleg tails, and as souple 
as eels " ; and further that they were " vara sma as compared 
we burds ye see the day," referring to his own birds, we 
being in his bird-room at the time. He said they were "real 
bonny and nicely shapit." Those in his possession had, I 
observed, a goodly supply of the old Belgian canary in their 
composition, but nothing as compared with the birds of the 
present period, which, for head, neck, and shoulder properties 
would compare favourably with high-class birds of this variety. 
I mentioned this to my friend, and his reply was, " That's 
richt, they are weel crossed wi the richt stamp o' bird, and 
that's hoo they are sae muckle improved, but it wadna dae 
to use these straight-backed anes wi high shoulders and stiff 
tails, as are sae fashionable the noo," referring to the modern 
straight-backed Belgian birds with high shoulders and long 
drooping necks. But even the taste of that day has been 
modified, and birds of this description have been used in 
order to gratify the modern taste of fanciers. In the 
specimens published by Poultry, February 27th, 1891, 
Mr. G. Lawson's buff Scotch Fancy cock, drawn by Mr 
Harrison Weir, shows as much Belgian blood as that of the 
Scotch Fancy. 

The idea of the present generation of fanciers is to get 
the Belgian head, neck, and shoulders planted on the Scotch 
Fancy body. Mr. Lawson's bird was specially referred to by 
Mr. Thos. Smith, Vice-President of the Glasgow and West of 
Scotland Association, and Secretary to the Glasgow South ern 
and Glasgow Southern Albert Societies, at the annual meeting 
and social gathering of the Glasgow Ornithological Association, 
held on the 6th of March, 1891. Mr. Smith said, in reference 
to arriving at a definite understanding as to what is really a 
Scotch Fancy canary, "The latest was Mr. Lawson's buff cock, 
which is a near approach to the best of the proposed models." 

The Modern Scotch Fancy. 247 

The friend to whom I have already referred once said to me, 
"We mun hae the circle and the gleg tail; these canna be 
dispensed with at nae price." And these characteristics are 
still preserved, and in my opinion constitute the most important 
feature in a bird of this variety. The origin of these birds 
was probably a cross between the old French and Dutch 
canaries, and then with the old type of Belgian canary, which 
was more circled than those of the present day. Twenty 
years ago a " Don " was required to be slim, very circular in 
form ("half mooned" as many Scotch breeders term it), fine 
in feather, with great freedom and grace of movement, and 
quick action and celerity, known as " style," which is obtained 
by training the birds to move rapidly from perch to perch by 
a motion of the hands. In the old-fashioned "Don" promi- 
nence of shoulder was not admissible, as it was considered 
to break the circular line ; an exhibition of thigh was 
looked upon as a grave defect, and a stiff tail as most 

Such was the ideal Scotch Fancy a quarter of a century 
ago, and even less; but comparing a bird of this description 
with one of the present period, it might truly be said, in 
scriptural language, " Behold, old things have passed away, 
and all things have become new," for the ideal bird of the pre- 
sent generation of fanciers is a widely different creature in its 
general tout ensemble to the bird we have described, and some 
of our English fanciers are difficult to persuade that the 
modern birds are Scotch Fancies at all. They regard these 
more recently produced specimens as Belgians pure and 
simple, as they do not discover the difference between the 
round back and tail of the "Don" and the square back and 
straight tail of the Belgian bird. 

From what we have said, it will be readily understood that 
the only way to obtain birds that are likely to meet .with 
approval is to breed freely between the long circular Dons 
and the big-shouldered, long-necked, fine-headed Belgian birds, 
selecting for future use all birds that possess the best points 
required ; the object being to get the fine head, neck, and 

248 The Canary Book. 

shoulders of the Belgian canary planted on the circular free- 
tailed Don, and BO modelled as to have the upper part of 
the bird a good Belgian, and the other part a good Don. 

To a well-circled Don hen, with good length of side, plenty 
of neck, ancl a long sweeping free tail, and well hollowed 
out in front, put a Belgian cock with a fine head, long 
drooping neck, and prominent well-filled shoulders, and if 
possible with a back and tail inclined to the circular form. 
From this pair you must select birds nearest to the 
" model " and dip in again to the Don on one side, and the 
Belgian on the other as circumstances require, carefully 
selecting and pairing your stock until you obtain birds as 
near the ideal model as possible, then breed brother and 
sister together to establish the features you have gained, 
and breed out from these again in the direction most needed, 
and again resort to in-br ceding from first cousins, the result 
of your next cross, but do not overdo this, sib-breeding or 
you will weaken the constitution of your birds. It will take 
years of careful breeding to produce the stamp of birds you 

You may, by buying birds from experienced breeders, save 
yourself some time in crossing, but you must be careful not 
to be misled, and the safest method to adopt will be to begin 
on the plan indicated. I must not, however, omit to warn the 
beginner against trusting to Scotch Fancies to rear their 
own progeny, as they are as a rule indifferent feeders, and 
therefore the breeder must be prepared with some reliable 
foster mothers, and for this purpose I would recommend 
Cinnamon hens in preference to all others, the majority of 
them being very reliable feeders. 

Even markings are not cultivated among the ^Scotch 
fanciers, who do not pay much regard to markings, but go 
on the principle that "a good horse is never a bad colour." 
Tt is form and style that they esteem most. I have seen 
several very good specimens of the Scotch Fancy, both 
Cinnamon, and Cinnamon variegated (hens of course), but it 
shows that at some remote period a, dip of pure Cinnamon 

The Modern Scotch Fancy. 249 

blood lias been mingled with the blood of these aristocrats 
of the north, as this is a colour that will make its appear- 
ance in future generations, when once it is implanted in the 

The object of the modern breeder is to get a bird with 
a fine sleek head, a neat back, and long well- tapered neck, 
with plenty of forward reach, and tightly fitted to the 
shoulders. The shoulders should be prominent, nicely rounded 
and well filled up, leaving no hollow ; the back should be 
round, or circular and -narrow ; the wings should be long, 
well formed, close fitting to the sides, and meet at the tips; 
the chest should be well hollowed out, showing 110 prominence; 
the under- body from neck to vent should be perfectly con- 
cave, or as it is more generally termed, "well scooped out"; 
the legs should be set well back on the body, and not show 
too prominently; the tail should be long, thin, and tapering 
to a point, not fish-tailed, well padded at the vent, and brought 
well under and around the perch. The bird should display 
much nerve, and travel from perch to perch with a rapid 
and graceful motion, pulling itself into position each time it 
alights on the perch, and displaying all its best qualities in 
the fullest perfection. 

The faults in a bird of this variety are here summarised: 
A prominent thick forehead, wide skull, a thick or- short 
neck (which causes the bird to elevate its head too high), 
a heavy or pouter chest, a too heavily feathered breast, flat 
shoulders, a straight back, or back too broad, or a hollow 
between the shoulders and forming a sort of channel, .short 
thick-set wings, or wings that cross or hang loosely, a tail 
that is short, straight, stiff, or badly filled up at the vent, or 
loose and untidy or deficient in feather at the base, too 
much thigh or a want of feathering on the thighs, a short 
reach, a want of nerve or action, and a stiffness or sluggish- 
ness in motion. 

The feathers on the body should be smooth and tight, and 
it is scarcely necessary to remark that the .health and con- 
dition should be 'perfect in a show specimen. 

250 The Canary Book. 



Head, for sleekness and neatness, including bill 7 

Neck, for length, fineness, reach and set on 12 

Shoulder for prominence, roundness, and finish 15 

Back for roundness, narrowness, and being well filled-up 10 

Wings for length, tightness, and carriage 5 

Tail for length, form, and suppleness _ 15 

Chest, well hollowed out 8 

Legs 5 

Size, length and reach, general form, contour, feather- 
ing, and condition 15 

Nerv.e and travelling . 8 

Total 100 

ADVICE TO BREEDERS. I would advise all amateurs, as far 
as possible, to eschew birds possessing any of the worst faults 
I have enumerated, that is, if they desire to breed show speci- 
mens, for the faults as well as the good properties are sure 
to be perpetuated, if birds possessing them are used for 
breeding purposes. Minor faults may be overcome by judi- 
cious breeding and selection, for no bird is perfect, and if 
a bird has many good properties, and only a few faults, 
these in time may be bred out. 




SINCE the publication of the first edition of "The Canary 
Book '* a marked improvement has taken place in the estimation 
of fanciers with regard to this variety. Instead of this breed of 
birds being confined, as heretofore, almost entirely to the 
county of Lancaster, and few or no classes being provided for 
them at some of the principal shows in the United Kingdom, now 
a very extensive and active demand for them has been created 
in all parts of the country. This is owing in a great measure 
to the fact of their now being much used to cross with the 
Norwich crested variety to gain size in body, and to increase 
and improve the form of the crests of the birds, and classes for 
" Coppies " are now made by the committees of all shows with 
any pretension to be considered " leading shows." 

The true Coppy is a large, noble looking bird, and very 
commanding in appearance. It had its origin in and around 
the town of Manchester, and was first introduced to public 
notice under the name of the " Manchester Coppy." These 
birds are extensively bred in the town just named, and likewise 
at Oldham, Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Stalybridge, and 
from these towns the best specimens are derived. 

ORIGIN. The Coppy canaries originated from the old Dutch 
variety, now almost extinct, and which they very greatly 
resemble in size and general conformation. The crest or 
" coppy " has no doubt been the result of an extraneous cros& 
with some other variety possessing this appendage, as we never 

25 1 The Canary Book. 

remember having seen a specimen of the old Dutch variety 
adorned with a crest, and hence has arisen the appellation or 
title of the " Manchester " or " Lancashire Coppy." It is now 
thirty-four years since we first saw a bird of this kind, and 
those we saw were the property of a very spirited fancier who 
always made it a rule to purchase the best description of birds 
of the varieties he kept that money could procure ; hence we 
presume that the birds we then saw were good specimens of the 
variety at that day; they were, however, much inferior to the 
birds of the present day in size and contour, and at that time I 
thought they were a cross between a Dutch canary and one of 
the common crested variety, and I dare say I was not far from 
the mark in my conjecture. 

POINTS. The Coppy is probably the largest and most 
massive of all the members of the canary family, and a good 
specimen should measure fully eight inches in length from the 
tip of the bill to the end of the tail, and some birds may be 
found to exceed these dimensions. I have one in my possession 
now which is considerably over eight inches. 

The principal points of a.dmiration in these birds are size, 
length, and stoutness, and crest. The head should be large, long 
as well as broad, the beak small and neatly formed, and clear in 
colour, the neck long, straight and massive, the body should be 
of great length and very full throughout, with a deep broad 
chest, large expansive shoulders, square, but not prominent like 
a Belgian or Scotch Fancy canary, and should exhibit great 
substance throughout the entire body, the body sho.uld likewise 
extend considerably behind the thighs and appear thick and full 
to the -seat of the tail. They should have good legs, long and 
massive, showing plenty of thigh. The bird should be erect in 
carriage, and graceful in its movements, and appear straight in 
the back from the base of the skull to the rump, but having 
a gentle but clearly defined curve from the throat to the vent on 
the under side of the body ; the tail should be long and straight, 
rather massive but compact, and slightly drooping from the tips 
of the wings ; the wings should be closely braced and meet at 
the extremities or nearly so, although Coppies are very frequently 
cross-winged, the result of breeding too frequently from two 

The Manchester Coppy. 253 

buffs. The crest or " coppy," which is a very distinctive feature in 
this variety, should be round in form, full, flat, and very closely 
and densely packed, without the least appearance of a break or 
split in any part of it ; it should come well over the eyes and beak 
of the bird, drooping all round, and finish off at the back of the 
head without showing deficiency of feather. No part of the skull 
of a good bird should be visible at the back of the head or termina- 
tion of the lateral crest. The crest should have a clearly defined 
but close and compact centre, and the feathers should radiate 
from this point in a uniform manner all round, giving it the 
appearance of a daisy in full bloom. The position of the bird 
when placed in a show cage is very important; it should 
be erect, easy, and elegant, and not cowering or timid; the 
feathers profuse, but fitting close to the body, not rough, 
and showing a frill on breast, or coarseness in other parts 
of the body, wings, or tail; the crest or "coppy," as well as 
the under body feathers, should be perfectly clear in colour, 
free from any dark tinge, and should blow as white and soft as 
floss silk. Some Coppies are quite plain at the back of the head. 

The natural colour of these birds is pale, whether yellows or 
buffs. The " Plain Heads " should be possessed of the same points 
of excellence in conformation of body, size, &c., as the crested 
variety, and the feathers forming what is termed the bird's 
eyebrows should project over the eyes, called by some fanciers 
"over-hanging eyebrows," and the more a bird shows this 
peculiarity the better it is considered to be bred for crest. Some 
of the most experienced breeders, in order to improve the crests 
of these birds, frequently breed them " double crested " that is, 
two crested birds together, but in doing so two birds are chosen 
that are deficient in crest properties for example, one bird is 
selected with a short or a split frontal crest, and the other 
showing a sparsity of back crest. Sometimes a good bird is 
obtained in this way, but the Plain Heads which are bred from 
breeding with two Coppies are the most highly esteemed for 
re -crossing with Coppy birds again, and I am assured by a 
(successful breeder and exhibitor of these birds that this is the 
best plan to improve the size and form of the crest. 

There is at the present day a great rage for this variety of 

254 The Canary Book. 

canary; but for some reason or other prime specimens appear 
to be getting very scarce. I imagine this has arisen in con- 
sequence of the great demand during late years for crossing 
with the Norwich variety to obtain increased size of bodies 
and crest properties; and the majority of the Lancashire 
breeders appear to have unwittingly disposed of their best 
birds at tempting prices, and kept inferior stock to breed 
from themselves. It is the greatest mistake a fancier could 
possibly commit, for in addition to the best blood procurable, 
you require the best specimens you can obtain to produce 
high-class youngsters. Never forget this. 

In Rochdale, Oldham, Manchester, and other Lancashire 
towns, this variety of canary is still held in the highest esti- 
mation, and nowhere else can be found birds of greater merit 
than have been produced at one or other of the towns named. 
The Lancashire Coppy is to a Lancashire man what a Scotch 
Fancy is to a Scotchman, the beau ideal of his highest fancy, 
the concentrated reality of his keenest imagination. 

BREEDING. In order to breed Al specimens of this variety 
you must first procure a high-class Coppy cock, a bird of 
great length and substance, a strong, bold, upstanding bird, 
with a massive head, and an abundance of crest, well arranged, 
expansive, and of good quality and form, -and in addition to 
these properties you want a good constitution, for it is useless 
to breed from diseased or unhealthy birds, however good they 
may be. Pair this bird with a thoroughly well-bred 'hen, a 
crested plain-head, large in- body, with plenty of length, broad 
in back and shoulders, with a massive skull, a neat beak, a 
stout neck and full breast, good substantial legs, and a long 
strait tail set well on, and with an abundance of head and 
body feather; but the first-named is most essential, it should, 
when turned back, almost reach the end of the beak, and 
should hang well over the eyes and the back of the head, 
almost like a tight-fitting crest. You may if you choose put 
two such hens with the cock. This is pair one, but you want 
about ten pairs at least if you hope to be successful. You 
if yon choose use a plain -head cock and a Coppy hen 

The Manchester Coppy. 255 

possessing the points already named. The reason that I prefer 
a Coppy cock is that he can be run with two plain-head hens 
and produce crested birds from both, whereas if a plain-head 
cock is used you would require two Coppy hens to produce 
crested birds from both pairs, and crested or Coppy birds 
when good are much more expensive than plain-heads. Another 
advantage in this plan is a saving of expense, as there is a 
much greater risk of losing hens than cocks during breeding 
operations, as hens frequently become egg-bound, and occa- 
sionally ruptured in the act of laying eggs. Apart from 
these considerations, I am of opinion that the cock bird, as a 
rule, has the greatest influence on the progeny. A.i most of 
the Lancashire shows they have as many as eight classes for 
this variety of bird, which are divided as follows : 1. Clear 
Yellow Coppy; 2. Clear Buff Coppy; 3. Clear Yellow Plain- 
head ; 4. Clear Buff Plain-head ; 5. Ticked Yellow Coppy ; 6. 
Ticked Buff Coppy; 7. Ticked Yellow Plain-head; 8. Ticked 
Buff Plain-head. 

Clear and ticked yellow birds of superior quality are much 
more difficult to obtain than good buffs, as tney are not 
nearly so plentiful. The ticked birds are invariably the 
best, and these are the kind that Norwich breeders should 

Lancashire men, however, regard their clear birds most 
highly; but in order to improve them in size and crest it is 
necessary to have recourse to the ticked birds occasionally. 
Some breeders put two ticked birds together, and keep all 
the clear birds bred from them, and pair these with clear 
birds again, for it is well-known that the best crests are 
obtained by using this cross, as it is also the best for increasing 
the size and substance of the birds. The plan mostly followed 
is to mate a ticked Coppy with a clear plain-head, and to pair 
the produce of these birds with clears, the ticked blood only 
being resorted to once in two or three years, as many of the 
Lancashire breeders are greatly averse to the ticked birds, 
but for what reason it is difficult to say, except that clear 
birds are most highly prized. The ticked birds have become 

256 The Canary Book. 

more plentiful of late years, and this, no doubt, has arisen 
from the fact that some breeders have had the temerity to 
introduce a clear- or grey-crested bird of the modern Norwich 
type into their strain to improve the head of the Coppy, but 
many of them would now be glad to expunge it, as it has led 
to smaller sized birds being produced. It is also recommended 
by some breeders to put two Goppies together, say .once in 
four or five years, to increase the size and fullness of the 
crest and width of skull, but it is rare to breed a show bird 
in this way, although occasionally a good specimen is produced * 
but it is singular, as well as true, that breeding after this 
fashion produces loss of length and size generally, and to 
Overcome this drawback it is considered necessary by some 
of the most successful breeders of this variety to put two plain- 
heads together and mate the produce of these with the double- 
crested bred birds, as the produce of the latter frequently 
have rough mop crests, or are bald at the back of the head, 
and by -crossing with double-bred plain-heads, these defects 
are most quickly remedied. In breeding from two Coppy or 
crested birds both should be of good quality, with moderately 
large crests, but free from baldness at the back of the head, 
bareness at the upper part of the neck, and open centres; 
neither bird should be too full in body-feather, or coarse off- 
spring will be the result. The best birds to select for this 
purpose are a yellow Coppy cock and a buff Coppy hen ; under 
no circumstances should a Coppy bred from two Coppies be 
mated with a Coppy again, or the produce will be most un- 

To pair a buff plain-head with a buff Coppy, or a buij 
ticked Coppy, is a plan often resorted to by the best 
breeders, as it has a tendency to increase the length and bulk 
of the body of the produce, and it also increases the length 
and density of the feathers, but it should only be adopted at 
intervals of two or three years, or the birds will be produced 
too rough, and will deteriorate in colour and quality of feather 
likewise. In following out this plan of breeding the best 
coloured birds should be selected. Some fanciers breed from 

7 'he Manchester Coppy. 257 

two buff Coppies, in place of a buff and a yellow, and the 
result is generally the production of rough- and slack-feathered 
birds. Discard all birds to breed from that inherit grave 
faults, such as open centres, split side or frontal crests, bare- 
ness at the base of the skull or neck, with back and tails 
inclined to be circular, cross wings, loose ungainly tails, or birds 
that are narrow in the head, and with thin scraggy necks or 
weakly legs, or birds that do not stand erect on the perch. 
As soon as you succeed in producing birds of a good stamp 
you must adopt the plan I have frequently recommended for 
many years in breeding birds of other varieties, viz., consan- 
guinity or in-breeding, for there is nothing to equal it when 
used in moderation for perpetuating the features you desire to 

Lancashire birds, like their progenitors, the Dutch and 
Belgian canaries, are not reliable nurses; very few of them 
excel in this respect, and the males- I have generally found to 
be worse than the females. Therefore, if you decide to breed 
birds of this kind, by all means obtain a few good reliable 
foster parents, either German, Cinnamons, Greens, or Cross- 
breds (between the Yorkshire and Norwich variety), all of 
which as a rule are good nurses, otherwise you will not succeed 
in your endeavours, although you may put up several pairs 
to breed from. Another great drawback to these large 
and noble birds, the Lancashires, is their great lack of 
stamina; they are far from robust and vigorous birds, taken 
as a whole, and they are prone to be affected by those 
terrible maladies, asthma and consumption, whicR are 
probably the most troublesome and fatal complaints that 
affect the canary. 

Some of the specimens I have seen have evidently been 
crossed with the Belgian canary, but these are much thinner 
in the body, considerably narrower in the head, and flat at 
the sides; furthermore, they exhibit a little of the Belgian 
shape in the curvature of the back, and are never possessed 
of such expansive crests as those which are full of the old 
Dutch cannry. 

258 The Canary Book. 

STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE. 100 points to be taken as 
maximum of perfection. 



Head and Beak 8 

Neck. 6 

Back 8 

Breast 5 

Legs 6 

Wings 8 

Tail 4 

Feathers for Closeness and Quality 6 

Colour 3 

SizeofBird 10 

Contour and Position 8 

Crest 15 

Condition 10 

Total... .."lOO 

The Evenly-marked Yorkshire Canary. 

This variety has been produced chiefly by crossing the Belgian with the 
Lancashire Coppy, the Cinnamon Variegated, and other kinds. 



THE bird fanciers in London, Norwich, Scotland, and other 
towns and countries, each have a special and distinct variety of 
canary of their own; and Yorkshiremen, actuated, no doubt, 
with the laudable desire to aim at originality, and to emulate 
the example set by their confreres, have attempted to establish a 
variety of canaries peculiar to the county of " broad acres." 
With this object in view, they have striven to produce a breed 
of birds differing in some respects from all known varieties, and, 
to some exten.t, their endeavours have been crowned with success. 
At the present moment this breed of birds may be regarded 
as being in its infancy, but no doubt in the course of a few more 
years we shall see a marked progress and improvement in 
them.* Improvement always takes a considerable time to 
develop in anything appertaining to perfection a new variety 
of any description, whether it be birds, animals, plants, flowers, 
or what not, for in point of fact there is invariably a diversity 
of opinion, even among those who are considered best able to 
judge of their merits or demerits, as to what ought to constitute 
an essential quality and what a disparagement ; and until these 
differences are finally set at rest onward progress is sure to be 

BREEDING. The Yorkshire Fancy birds are produced chiefly 
by crossing the Belgian Fancy and some other varieties of 
canaries together, such, for instance, as the Manchester Coppy, 

* Since the foregoing was written a marked improvement in the contour of these birds 
has taken place. 

s 9! 

260 The Canary Book. 

the Cinnamon variegated, and the common breed of canary ; and 
some breeders, who are fond of rich bright colours, have ventured 
to introduce a cross of the Norwich Fancy blood as well ; but the 
majority of them and among these may be counted their most 
ardent admirers entirely ignore both the colour and shape of 
the Norwich variety, and regard all specimens inheriting any oi 
the properties of the last-named breed with much disfavour. 

To breed Yorkshire Fancy canaries successfully and fit for 
competition it will be necessary to procure a few long, thin 
Belgian canaries, or, to be more accurate in my description, 1 
probably ought to say three-quarter bred Belgian canaries, 
select those that are very deficient in shoulder and as straight in 
shape as they can be obtained in fact, to speak plainly, birds 
known in the " fancy " as " bad Belgian canaries," those least 
esteemed and of little value except for breeding purposes of this 
sort. In addition to these you should get a few plain-headed 
Manchester Coppies and a few half-bred Dutch or French 
canaries I prefer the latter for my own fancy always keep in 
view great length of body and tail; the recognised shape and 
fineness of feather as well. Cross the different breeds of birds 
already enumerated in such a way as you consider best calcu- 
lated to obtain the qualities most desired, always eschewing all 
birds to breed from that show the least inclination to curves 
whether in the back or tail. After you succeed in producing a 
race of birds to your mind, adopt the method of " sib " breeding 
(in-and-in), and this may be indulged in pretty freely at first, as 
it is the safest plan to follow, and the only one that can be 
relied upon with certainty for reproducing, establishing, and 
perpetuating certain features with accuracy, but, as I have 
before pointed out, in treating of other varieties, care must be 
taken not to overdo it, or your birds will degenerate in size and 
stamina, and become puny and delicate. Experience, however, 
will prove the best and most trustworthy tutor in this respect. 
The observations I have made relate to the clear varieties only. 
If you desire to breed evenly -marked birds or unevenly-marked 
birds, you must observe strictly the same rules for crossing as 
those laid down for breeding the marked varieties of Norwich 
Fancy canaries 

The Yorkshire Fancy. 261 

Some slight alterations have taken place in the style and 
type of these birds since I wrote my former account of them. 
At a conference held at Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1890, it was 
agreed that the length of a bird of this variety should not 
exceed 6fin. in length, to be eligible for competition at any show. 
This regulation is to prevent too free a use of the Lancashire 
cross, and to preserve the type from running in that direction. 
The head of the bird now should be slightly arched at the 
crown, and colour is more keenly sought after than hereto- 
fore; but this addition to their appearance is -most frequently 
obtained by artificial means, i.e., " colour feeding," in the 
same manner as that applied to the Norwich and Cinnamon 
varieties, breeds in which colour is a great desideratum. For 
my part I do not think that a bird should be rejected that 
measures 7in. in length, and I had hoped that this length 
would have been allowed. 

The Lancashire cross has been freely used in the manufac- 
ture of this variety to get the birds into the form most admired, 
viz., straight, and to take away the slight curvature of the 
back, resulting from the Belgian alliance; but only those 
Lancashires are used that are long, straight, and slim, and sparse 
of feather, a class of birds that Lancashire breeders sell as 
"weeds" and "stragglers." Careful selection is one of the 
great sources of success in building up a good reliable strain 
of Yorkshires, or in fact of any other variety; but to this 
breed it is particularly applicable. 

There will no doubt be bickerings and wordy disputes about 
measurements, as it is doubtful whether any two judges can 
measure a bird to a-quarter-of-an-inch. The measurement is 
usually obtained by placing a bird on its side, on a 2ft. rule, 
such as is used by carpenters, and I contend that a judge 
may, if he be so disposed, stretch a bird fully a-quarter-of- 
an-inch ; but to be perfectly fair no bird should be subject to 
this operation. The usual method is to take the length from 
the point of the bill to the end of the tail, and to ensure 
exactness a padded frame should be used, with an upright 
piece of wood at one end and a sliding piece at the other. 

262 The Canary Book. 

similar to that used by shoemakers in taking a measure for 
boots ; the contrivance should be made to work backwards 
and forwards, and if a wood bottom were used with a scale 
of Sin. divided into eighths, it would probably be considered 
satisfactory, but until something of the kind is used the 
measuring of birds is likely to lead to very unsatisfactory 

With these alterations I am disposed to make a slight change 
in. the standard for judging the clear and ticked birds, as 
follows : 



Head and neck 10 

Back and shoulders 15 

Chest and waist 10 

Less : 7 

Tail '. 7 

Size of bird 8 

Colour ', 8 

Quality and feather 10 

Contour, position, and style 15 

Condition 10 

Total 100 

There is a difficulty as to what constitutes a ticked bird, 
and some judges disqualify a bird in a clear class because 
a dark wider-fluff feather may be discovered on the leg by 

This is carrying the matter a little too far, as it is not at 
all improbable that if the bird were shown under another 
judge as a ticked bird it would be disqualified or passed 
over as being a clear bird ; such a slight blemish might be 
considered by a judge in giving his award between two birds 
of equal merit in all other respects, and this would only be 
fair and right. I have often regretted having classified ticked 
birds with unevenly-marked birds, as I am now of opinion 
that ticked birds should either form a separate class, or be 
allowed to compete on equal terms with clear birds, and that 


The Yorkshire Fancy 263 

no birds should be allowed to be shown in an unevenly-marked 
class with less than two distinct and visible marks or patches 
of a dark colour. When ticks are so slight as to be almost 
invisible to the naked eye, there can be no valid objection to 
their being shown in a class for clear birds, and such birds 
are almost invariably bred from clear birds. 

CLASSES. There are six classes of Yorkshire Fancy canaries, 
and these are generally divided as follows: Clear yellow 
clear buff, evenly-marked yellow, evenly-marked buff, ticked or 
unevenly-marked yellow, ticked or unevenly-marked buff. 

POINTS. The principal attractions about these birds are their 
size and shape, more especially the latter. Another desideratum, 
and one which ought not to be overlooked, is great length in 
body. The longer you can get a bird, provided always it is 
correct in shape, the more valuable it is on this account. 

The form mostly admired is that usually termed " straight," 
i.e., running level all over, from the crown of the head to the tip 
of the tail. The head should be small and sleek (the cheeks 
having the appearance of. being chiselled) and somewhat flattish 
on the crown ; the neck long, straight, and thin ; the shoulders 
ought to be moderately broad, but not prominent ; the back well 
filled up, but flat and level throughout. The wings are required 
to be long and well braced together, meeting at the tips, but 
they must not overlap each other this is a fault in a bird of any 
breed; the waist should be long and rather slender; the body 
inclined to be thin, and flattish at the sides ; the tail must be of 
good length, close and compact in form ; the legs long, substan- 
tial and inclining to be straight, with good thighs ; there should 
be no appearance of a frill on the breast; and a good bird 
ought likewise to be very close in feather, and look as if it had 
been carved out of marble, a real model; colours, pale brim- 
stone, yellow, and pale buff. The attitude should be a little 
dignified and commanding, but withal easy and graceful. By far 
the handsomest birds, however, of this particular breed are the 
evenly four-marked variety. 

The evenly-marked birds are rarely so good'in shape and style 
as the clear birds, but this could not reasonably be expected, 

264 The Canary Book. 

seeing that the markings, which are far more difficult to produce 
than shape, must be preserved intact. The most beautiful 
specimens of these very charming birds that I have ever seen 
have been bred in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, and 
in some parts of Lancashire, where they are highly esteemed and 
greatly prized. The eye markings should be elliptical in form, 
or in two parallel lines at the front and behind the eye ; the wing 
markings should be even, about seven, eight, or nine feathers in 
the secondary flights.* 

STANDARD OP EXCELLENCE. The standard for judging the 
clear varieties computing 100 points as representing the ideal 
of a perfect specimen is considered as under: 



Head 5 

Neck 6 

Shoulders , 5 

Back 10 

Chest 4 

Waist 8 

Legs 8 

Tail 8 

Size of bird 10 

Colour 3 

Quality of feathers 8 

Contour and position 15 

Condition 10 

Total 100 

The foregoing criterion is equally applicable to the unevenly- 
marked classes, with the only exception that fifteen points 
should be allowed for markings, the other points being pro- 
portionately reduced to admit of this being done. In the 
unevenly-marked class a bird with evenly-marked wings and an 
oval cap is unquestionably the " pick of the basket," so far as 
markings are a consideration. Next to this in point of per- 
fection is a bird similarly marked, with the addition of eye or 

* Some fanciers like a dark feather on each side of the tail ; I prefer them with- 
out it, and like a four-marked bird better than a six-marked one. 

The Yorkshire Fancy. 265 

cheek markings, and for a third choice I should prefer a bird 
with regular wing-markings and a solitary eye mark. 

The standard for judging the evenly-marked classes differs 
materially from that given for the other varieties, as the 
markings are considered of the first importance in this variety. 
The subjoined criterion, therefore, will be found applicable to 
these birds : 



Head and eye-markings 15 

Neck, shoulders, and back 10 

Chest, waist, and legs 10 

Wing-markings and saddle 20 

Tail 6 

Size of bird 8 

Colour 3 

Quality of feathers 8 

Contour and position 10 

Condition 10 . 

Total 100 

The illustrations are taken from birds of the true typical 
highest-class Yorkshires. 



THESE birds have derived their name from their peculiar 
colour, which greatly resembles that of cinnamon bark used 
for culinary purposes, although it is much deeper and richer in 
hue. It is an old-established variety, and its origin, like that 
of the Lizard canary, is beyond the knowledge of the present 
generation. It is a breed that has always been regarded with 
much favour among what I may call the educated fanciers ; by 
this term I mean men who have made canaries a daily study for 
years. There is something about them quite uncommon in 
appearance something totally unlike any of the other recog- 
nised varieties in the colour of their plumage ; and, although the 
tint is somewhat quiet and sober, it is nevertheless peculiarly 
pleasing and attractive. Some twenty years ago the colour of 
these birds was much less brilliant than it is found among those 
of the present day, as a rule, for since the introduction of the 
Norwich Fancy blood into their veins their charms have been 
considerably enhanced. Indeed, so grave and sombre-looking, 
so thoroughly drabbv were these birds in appearance at one 
time, that they gained the names of " Quaker " and " Dun " 

If I were to begin to extol the variegated Cinnamons ns much 
as I consider they deserve to be, the probabilities are that some 
person might feel disposed to remind me that they were merely 
cross-breeds. Just so ; but it is well to remember that some cross- 
bred animals are highly prized, and to give an instance in point 

The Cinnamon. 267 

I might mention the cross between the bulldog and terrier, 
which is, in most cases, a much handsomer dog than either of its 
progenitors, and a breed greatly valued by the cognoscenti of the 
canine race. 

A reason which riiilitates greatly against this particular breed 
of birds is that there are so few shows that make separate classes 
for them ; and this is more easily explained than remedied. The 
north country fanciers, almost without exception, cross the 
Cinnamon and Belgian Fancy canaries together, as they prefer 
symmetry to colour ; whilst the south country fanciers give 
precedence to the latter, and for this reason they cross the 
Cinnamon and Norwich Fancy varieties with each other ; the 
consequence is that,, whenever the two distinct crosses of birds 
meet together in the same class for competition, the awards of 
the judges very rarely give satisfaction to all parties. Most of 
the secretaries and committees of shows are fully aware of this 
bugbear, and rather than run the risk of bickerings arising at 
their shows, they prefer to make an " any other variety class," 
instead of giving a special class to the variegated variety. 

In some parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham, and North- 
umberland, many elegant specimens of the Belgian cross are to 
be met with large slender birds, graceful in form and com- 
manding in appearance, with sleek flat heads, exquisitely 
chiselled, and long slender necks, with good substantial legs, well 
formed, and a fine erect carriage. Add to these properties a pair 
of evenly-marked wings and two delicately and beautifully pen- 
cilled eye-markings, and you have what I consider a gem of a 
bird to behold. " There is no accounting for taste," for the cross 
between the Cinnamon and Norwich Fancy canaries are very 
diminutive birds, displaying nothing beyond the. form of the 
commonest type of canary, and having no other recommendation 
beyond their superior colour over the class of birds I have 
endeavoured to portray ; but whether high colour in this case 
really is an advantage is purely a matter of opinion ; for my part 
I think that the infusion of Norwich blood, giving the colours a 
brighter and a deeper hue, detracts rather than adds to the 
appearance of these birds, for I have always considered that one 
of the most pleasing features about them is the great contrast in 

268 The Canary Book. 

the colours, wliicli is so readily apparent in the cross with 
the Belgian canaries, but which is not nearly so perceptible in 
birds bred between the Cinnamon and Norwich Fancy varieties. 
Indeed, whenever I look upon a superb specimen of an evenly- 
marked buff Cinnamon a cross between the Belgian Fancy and 
Cinnamon varieties it invariably reminds me of that beautiful 
bird the turbit pigeon. It may be thought by some a rather 
singular comparison, but such is the fact, nevertheless ; there is 
something so serenely pure, so mild, affectionate, and innocent- 
looking about them (when clean and in proper condition) that I 
often wonder how any person can look upon them without 
admiring and esteeming them. 

It is greatly to be regretted that any difference of opinion 
should exist among fanciers in regard to this variety, as it 
undoubtedly has been the means of preventing, to a considerable 
extent, the propagation of one of the most beautiful and charm- 
ing of our cross-breeds. 

Cinnamon, as well as most of the Cinnamon variegated, birds, 
have eyes of a pink or palish red colour, and they can be dis- 
tinguished by this peculiarity when they are only a day or two 
old, as the pink shows through the thin film which covers the eyes 
of the young birds. 

BREEDING. -It is a little singular, but none the less true, if 
you .cross a Cinnamon canary with one of any other colour or 
breed, you may rest assured that the cinnamon colour will 
predominate eventually, if it does not in the first instance. 
To illustrate my meaning more clearly, we will suppose that 
you have mated a Cinnamon .and a Belgian canary for the 
purpose of a cross, we will likewise presume that among the 
progeny obtained from this pair of birds is one perfectly clear 
in colour. The following year you mate this bird with a 
Belgian canary again, or one of a similar breed, and you 
will find that some of the produce of the latter cross will be 
Cinnamon or Cinnamon Variegated, but most probably the 
last-named kind. I have known instances of this occur in 
the fourth and fifth generations, when the Cinnamon bird 
first used was well bred and free from any other cross or 
admixture of foreign blood. The colour of the cross breeds 

The Cinnamon. 269 

is, as a matter of course, much paler and more dingy-looking 
than the standard colour recognised in the genuine article; 
still it is for all that an unmistakable cinnamon hue. 

A few years ago I mated a good jonque Cinnamon cock 
with a jonque Lizard canary hen both being odd birds, but 
of first rate quality. I thought they would do for feeders 
if their produce proved worthless. They bred nothing but 
pure greens and Cinnamons, but chiefly the latter, and all 
were very rich in colour, and were much admired by everyone 
who saw them. A friend of mine had a young green cock from 
this cross, and the following season he 'mated him with three 
hens of different breeds, as an experiment, and in every 
instance good average specimens of Cinnamon canaries were 

Some people will tell you that Cinnamon canaries are bred 
by crossing a green canary with a clear yellow one, but, unless 
one or other of the parent birds has some of the genuine 
Cinnamon blood in its composition, you may depend upon it such 
a circumstance will never happen. I have known people who have 
put jonque green birds to clear yellows, and buff green birds to 
buffs, over and over again for this purpose, and I have done the 
same thing myself many years ago, but all to no use. That 
some people have succeeded in breeding them in this way I do 
not for a moment doubt, but I am quite confident the Cinnamon 
blood existed in one or other of "the progenitors. 

Those fanciers who are desirous of breeding birds of this 
variety, fit for any competition, will need to procure a few high- 
class birds to begin with. The best plan to obtain them is to 
claim a few good male birds at the Crystal Palace Show at 
Sydenham, unless you are acquainted \vith any fancier who is 
reputed for having a good strain, but, even in this case, I should 
prefer to get the hens from him and claim the male birds as 
advised. Nottingham was famed for the production of Cin- 
namon canaries thirty years ago, but latterly Northampton 
has borne the palm, and perhaps there is no other town in the 
United Kingdom where so many of these birds are bred (and 
good ones, too), although it has had to lower it colours to towns' 
of less importance within the past few years, but, for all that, 

2 jo The Canary Book. 

there is no better blood to be found to breed from than can be 
obtained within its precincts. 

When you commence to breed Cinnamon birds, put together, 
the first year, two pairs of pure bred birds, without spot or 
blemish, and in no way related to each other; at the same 
time mate a good jonque Cinnamon cock with a well-bred 
yellow variegated Norwich Fancy hen, the latter possessing 
good colour, form, size, and quality, and not too heavily marked, 
or one pure green, if obtainable. Be sure that the Cinnamon bird 
used for this cross has been bred from self -coloured birds for at 
least three generations. From the produce of the last-named 
pair keep the richest coloured hen, of good size and feather, if 
not the second best in colour, provided she is best in other 
respects ; a Cinnamon or Cinnamon variegated bird to be pre- 
ferred. Second year: Keep the best birds bred from the two 
pairs of Cinnamons, and cross them together to the best of your 
judgment ; one pair, however should be buff birds. Purchase a 
good buff Cinnamon cock of a different strain, and put him with 
one of the cross bred hens (jonque). Third year : Pair the pro- 
duce from your pure Cinnamons together again, always keeping 
the best birds to breed from. These birds will be full cousins, 
but it is necessary to breed them a little akin occasionally, as it 
keeps the blood pure. Take a young cock, bred from two pure- 
bred buffs, and put with the best jonque hen bred from the other 
pair containing the Norwich cross. Fourth year: Introduce 
new blood by pairing a pure Cinnamon bird with the best bird 
bred from your own breed of Cinnamons, and another with the 
best bird from the other pair, which will now be almost pure 
again. The following year mate the produce from the two last 
named pairs, and you will find the colour perceptibly improved. 
Continue the same process, introducing the Norwich cross every 
third or fourth year ; by this means you will vastly increase the 
colour of your birds without detracting from their other qualities. 

Avoid breeding from pied birds as much, as possible, but a 
single white feather, or even two, in the tail of a bird, if good in 
all other points, is not a serious objection ; at the same time, it 
is commendable to avoid it as much as you can, as the defect ia 
very likely to be perpetuated if too much use is made of birds 

The Cinnamon. 271 

with a blemish of this kind. I have purposely confined my 
remarks to as few pairs of birds as I could, in order to elucidate 
the system of crossing herein recommended, so that I might be 
able to make it all the more easily understood ; but I must not 
forget to point out to those who desire to climb the pinnacle of 
fame as breeders and exhibitors of canaries that it will be 
advisable to put double, or even treble the number of birds 
mentioned together if they wish to stand a reasonable chance of 
success as prize takers. Another injunction I think it desirable 
to give, and that is, do not attempt to breed too many varieties 
at 'the same time, for those who do so very rarely succeed in 
attaining eminence either as breeders or exhibitors. 

To breed Variegated birds you must begin by crossing the 
Belgian and Cinnamon varieties together, or the Norwich Fancy 
and Cinnamon birds, whichever kind you desire to cultivate. 
The following year select the best and most evenly-marked 
young birds, the produce of the first cross, and mate them again 
with the Belgian or Norwich varieties, as the case may be. For 
further particulars in regard to crossing in order to obtain 
evenly-marked birds, I must refer you to the chapter upon 
evenly-marked Norwich Fancy canaries. 

If you are desirous of breeding evenly-marked and Crested 
Cinnamon canaries, which are particularly pretty, you must 
couple a pure Cinnamon canary with a clear or grey-crested 
Norwich Fancy canary, or, presuming that you desire to possess 
shape in conjunction with the crest in preference to colour, then 
you must use a Manchester Coppy canary in place of the 
Norwich Fancy bird. From the produce of this cross you must 
keep the crested birds those that please you most and mate 
them again with plain-headed birds bred from crested strains, 
either Norwich Fancy or Coppies, whichever you require. 
By this means you will be able to propagate birds that will be 
likely to please you, and repay you for your trouble and outlay 
as well. Whenever the markings begin to get too light, take 
another dip of Cinnamon Fancy blood, which will speedily 
counterbalance the superfluity of the blood of the clear strains. 

Some of these crosses are extremely handsome, and it must 
not be forgotten that the clear birds bred from them, with pink. 

272 The Canary Book. 

or palish red eyes, are valuable for crossing to obtain hens for 
breeding canary and linnet mules. 

CLASSES. There are only two classes for pure Cinnamon 
canaries, viz., jonque and mealy; the former being more deep, 
intense, and brighter in colour than the latter variety ; but the 
last-named is more largely endowed with that beautiful silvery- 
grey light which pervades the outer surface of the feathers, and 
which is so much prized by fanciers as an indication of high 
breeding and rare quality. 

There are a great many varieties of Cinnamon Variegated birds ; 
indeed, they are capable of being divided into the same number 
of classes as the marked Norwich Fancy birds ; but they never 
are, as they are not nearly so popular at present as that world- 
renowned variety. Hitherto there have been but two classes set 
apart at any show for birds of this kind, and they are principally 
given under the designations of " variegated yellow Cinnamon " 
and "variegated buff Cinnamon." Now, what constitutes a 
variegated bird is simply a bird with a diversity of colours; 
consequently, both evenly and unevenly marked birds can com- 
pete together under this head, but the evenly-marked are sure to 
take precedence. The other varieties are generally to be found 
at shows which wind up their schedules with that most useful 
and needful class, the " Any other variety of canary," and in it 
they figure very prominently in most cases. 

POINTS. The true Cinnamon canary resembles in form and 
size the Norwich Fancy birds perhaps, if anything, they are a 
little larger ; that is, taking the general average of the two 
varieties. The distinguishing features in these birds are colour 
and form, but more particularly the former. The colour most 
prized is a deep rich mellow orange cinnamon, and this should 
be distributed as evenly as possible all . over the bird. A light- 
coloured throat, belly, or rump, or even light- coloured thighs, are 
considered blemishes. Next in point of esteem to the birds just 
described are those of a yellowish tint ; but avoid the green and 
the dusky, smoky smut-coloured birds, as they invariably possess 
bad blood. A stripy appearance is bad ; the more nearly a bird 
looks all over one unbroken colour, the more prizable it is. 

The Cinnamon. 273 

The best wing -mark ings of the Variegated birds are those 
which are perfectly even that is to say, the same number of 
cinnamon feathers in each wing, and the corresponding feathers. 
The eye-markings should either encircle the eye completely or 
extend backward or forward, or both, from the centre of the eye, 
these being called " front " or " back centre " eye-markings, 
whichever they may happen to be ; but those that envelop the 
eye and which are known as " spectacle " eye-markings, are most 
prized a white feauher intermixed with the dark feathers in the 
wings, or a dark feather with the clear feathers, is regarded as a 
fault. The wing coverlets, saddle and rump feathers, as well as 
those on the body of the bird, barring eye and wing markings, 
should all be perfectly clear externally. The underflue feathers 
about the vent frequently blow dark, and those on the thighs as 
well, but these are not considered serious blemishes. Neither 
are dark legs and beaks. I prefer a four-marked bird to a six- 
marked bird, as I do not consider a dark feather on each side of 
the tail an acquisition but rather the reverse. 

STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE. The following standard will be 
found to give the relative value of the different points of merit, 
100 points to be assumed as representing the highest excellence : 


Colour, for depth, clearness, purity, richness of tone, 

brightness and regularity throughout 40 

Quality and Sheen 20 

Size, for length and substance .. 15 

Condition and Feather 10 

Contour and Carriage 8 

Saddle 7 

Total 100 



Size, Contour, and Carriage 20 

Wing-markings. 25 

Eye-markings , 20 

Colour -.. 10 

Conditionand Quality 10 

Saddle 5 

Feathers 10 

Total ... 100 



THE innovations that have been practiced in late years by 
many breeders of canaries, in order to increase the size of 
their birds, have been extended to the Cinnamon Canary, and 
carried to such an extent as to greatly imperil the chief 
characteristics of this truly lovely variety of the Canary 
family. In place of the beautiful Norwich type of Cinnamons, 
with their peculiar coats of rich orange brown, or deep reddish 
mahogany hue, we have had established a race of great overgrown 
mongrels, many of which show almost every point that is 
objectionable in a good specimen of this breed. A true 
Cinnamon is a beautiful bird, and its chief and most valued 
properties are purity of colour and richness and evenness of 
tone, pervaded by a bright sheeny surface, which should be 
evenly distributed over the entire plumage; it should be free 
from stripiness both on the back, breast, and sides of the 

The true colour may be characterised as a reddish-orange 
brown, with good under colour, and in the jonqucs of high 
merit there should appear a sort of rich ruby colour peering 
through the ground colour; and in the buffs, or mealies, a 
rich orange yellow should glint radiantly on the upper surface 
of the body colouring, almost dazzling in its intensity; par- 
ticularly when daylight is fading is this peculiarity observable, 
and it may be held as a sure sign of high breeding. It is in 
the evening, or on a dull day, that a good Cinnamon bird is 

The Modern Cinnamon. 275 

seen in its full beauty; and it is really a bewitching sight to 
a true lover of this variety. 

But those great overgrown, dusky, murky, indefinite-looking 
objects, with their natural greeny, drabbish, smoky-looking 
hue, and "coarse feather (the worst points that a Cinnamon 
bird can possibly possess), together with light-coloured throats, 
pale washy-looking breasts, sides, vents, and rumps, with long 
greenish, dusky stripes displayed on their backs and sides, 
fill a genuine admirer of this variety with disgust and loathing. 
Why sacrifice every quality that a good specimen possesses 
merely to obtain size ? To me it seems simply madness. Size 
can only be obtained by crossing with the Dutch or Lancashire 
birds, and the latter are the lineal descendants of the old Dutch 
canary. In every other feature except size, such a cross tends 
to detract from the chance of producing a high-class repre- 
sentative of the Cinnamon proper. Get size by all legitimate 
means that you possibly can, by selection, by breeding from 
double buffs, by the introduction of an exceptionally good 
crested-bred bird, inheriting in a large degree the rich colour 
and fine feather of the Norwich plain-head, but eschew the 
direct use of the Lancashire plain-head to obtain your object. 
But the present mode of breeding is first to put a plain-head 
Lancashire cock with a Norwich Cinnamon hen, and from this 
cross to obtain green and variegated green cocks, and clear 
and variegated hens, and Cinnamon variegated occasionally, 
if the Cinnamon blood be reliable and pure. These birds are 
crossed with Cinnamon birds again, and green and Cinnamons 
are produced, but " size ! size ! " is still the cry, and the 
Lancashire bird is again resorted to, and this process is 
continued until ultimately a three-parts bred Lancashire 
Cinnamon is produced, with all or most of the faults I have 
specified, and then cayenne is resorted to, to cover all these 
defects. Oh, this cayenne! It is really the bug-bear of the 
fancy, if not the curse of it, and has done so much harm 
to some breeds that ten years of careful and honest breeding 
would not suffice to eradicate all the evils which have followed 
in its train. There is no kind of science in this kind of breeding, 

T 2 

276 The Canary Book. 

no skill required, no foresight, no brains. It is almost a matter 
of chance; then why resort to it? Be warned in time, do not 
destroy one of the loveliest of our varieties for the sake of a 
whim. Besides, fanciers forget that the Lancashire bird is 
descended from the Dutch and Belgian birds, and I am sorry 
to say that many of them have inherited in a large degree 
the delicacy of constitution inherent in these varieties, such 
as asthma and tuberculosis, and thus they are unconsciously 
propagating these disorders also. The original Norwich Cin- 
namons had the most robust constitutions, but how many of 
those modern birds are to be found that have sufficient stamina 
to carry them through three years of breeding operations to 
say nothing of exhibition specimens? I should say very few. 
I am a great stickler for type, but the true types of several 
of our varieties are becoming lost owing to the riding to death 
of this rampant mania for size, and ere long a new classification 
will be needed unless the craze can be abated. 

If fanciers really do want and admire large mongrel Cinna- 
mons, by all means let them have them, but they should be 
shown in the "Any other variety class," and not as true 
Cinnamons. The colour of the genuine Cinnamon canary is' 
so powerful and vigorous that with care and judicious breeding 
it can be produced in any breed, and Cinnamon Belgians, 
Cinnamon Scotch Fancies, Cinnamon Lancashires, or Cinnamon 
Yorkshires could be easily manufactured, but the colour would 
neither be so fine nor so rich as that found in the Norwich 
Cinnamons, which after all is the true standard. 

At the present time there are first-class specimens of the 
Scotch Fancy of a Cinnamon colour, and I saw one exhibited 
at Birmingham, by Mr. Greame, of Brough, Yorkshire, in 
1890, a bird, I believe, he purchased in Scotland, and a bird 
of considerable merit, and in England would be, if properly 
judged, difficult to beat in a class set apart for Scotch Fancies ; 
but singular to say these sports in colour are all hens. About 
twenty years ago, or perhaps a little more, I bought a large buff- 
crested cock, almost a thoroughbred Lancashire, with immense 
body and a good crest, one of the sturdy thick sort. I. put 

The Modern Cinnamon. 277 

him with a very high-class Cinnamon hen, my object being to 
breed evenly-marked and crested Cinnamons, and eventually I 
succeeded in breeding two splendid specimens, almost perfect, 
and both out of the same nest. These were the first birds of 
this variety I had ever seen or heard of, both hens, and pro- 
bably as perfect as they could possibly be bred. It occurred 
to me to use some of this blood to get more size into my 
Cinnamon birds and to increase the head properties, and I 
succeeded, but at a great sacrifice in colour. I remember 
sending a bird from this cross to a show at Darlington, and 
with it two other Cinnamons, in the same class, one a gem of 
the first water; and to my horror and disgust this big mongrel, 
as I considered it, was placed first prize, and the best bird 
second. I put 3 on him as his value, and received a telegram 
from Mr. Cleminson, of Darlington, asking the lowest price 1 
would accept for him. I declined to accept a less sum, as I 
wanted him to run with a hen of my best strain of Cinnamons 
to increase the size ; he was claimed, and to this day the bird 
is known and referred to among the old fanciers in Darlington 
as " Telegram," that title having been given to him after the 
event; this happened a good many years ago. I often regretted 
afterwards that I sent him, as it appeared to awaken a desire 
among fanciers to have a race of big Cinnamons, to the 
detriment of the more admirable features possessed by birds 
of the pure race. 

I consider that the Cinnamon canary is essentially a bird 
of colour, as much or even more so than the Norwich plain- 
head, and deprived of this special feature it loses its most 
fascinating charm. True, the colour can be sustained to a 
great extent by artificial feeding, but it can never be obtained 
so pure as that produced by high breeding. 

I do not desire to be considered so conservative as to be an 
opponent to improvements, decidedly not; but I must first be 
convinced of the advantages that are to be gained by cross- 
breeding. If an increase of size is to be obtained by the sacri- 
fice of points which are far more essential, then I feel myself 
bound to oppose the innovation. Some limit should be placed 

278 The Canary Book. 

on the length of this breed, and I think 6^-in., or at the very 
most 6Mn., should under no circumstances be exceeded, and 
even then it will take years of judicious breeding to bring up 
the quality and colour in a bird of these dimensions. This 
should be accomplished by selection, by breeding from double 
buffs, and an occasional dip into crested-bred Norwich blood. 
Green birds should be avoided as much as possible in the 
attainment of this object, as this shade of colour in a Cinna- 
mon is most objectionable. It will certainly take a year or 
two longer to breed up from- clears and Cinnamon variegated 
birds, but in the end the result will be much more satisfactory. 
I prefer substance to great length. We want the Cinnamon of 
the thick, deep-set, bullfinch shape, and not of the thin spare 
Yorkshire type. 

I would recommend amateurs who desire to attempt to im- 
prove this variety to first obtain a pair or two of the pure 
Norwich Cinnamons of the old school, birds that have been 
bred pure for several generations. Take one pair of these 
and cross them with a pair of large-crested bred plain-heads. 
Let them be pure in colour, rich in tone, and fine in feather; 
big-framed birds, as bulky as possible, but^free from coarseness, 
and destitute of the overhanging eyebrows, and with thick 
necks, short legs and tails, but deep broad chests, and wide 
backs, and good shoulders. Pair a buff Cinnamon cock, of a 
deep pure colour and level throughout, with a large yellow 
hen of this kind, and a jonque Cinnamon cock with a buff hen 
of the character I have described. It is advantageous to use 
Cinnamon cocks in preference to Cinnamon hens and hens 
of the crested-bred strain, as the colour is more influenced by 
using Cinnamon cocks, and the colours obtained in the young 
are brighter and clearer. Select from the offspring of these 
the clear birds with pink eyes and the Cinnamon variegated 
hens, and cross these again with Cinnamon cocks bred from 
a pure strain, putting a buff and jonque together as before. 
From this second cross there should be some nice Cinnamons. 
Put a cock of this cross with a Cinnamon variegated hen 
bred from the first cross, and another with a pure Cinnamon, 

The Modern Cinnamon. 279 

and the following season breed from birds the production of 
these crosses, always selecting the largest and best. From 
the last pair run two buffs together, but never two jonques; 
avoid all kinds to breed from that show too much of a green 
tinge, or with light-coloured throats, breasts, rumps, or bellies. 
Select 'those that are pure and level in colour throughout and 
free from stripes, if possible, for future operations, and proceed 
on the same lines ; but occasionally, say, once in three years, 
breed them akin, and a strain of Cinnamons will be built up 
that will do the breeder credit, but if he tries to progress too 
rapidly he will assuredly fail to produce a race of birds that 
will stand the test of time. 

In the standard for judging the new type I would make a 
little alteration from my former standard, as follows : 


Colour for depth, purity, and richness of tone 40 

Quality and sheen 15 

Size for length and substance 20 

Condition and feather 10 

Contour and cai'riage 7 

Freedom from stripiness 8 

Total 100 

I only give these standards as showing to what extent 
I regard the various properties. I do not advocate judging 
by points, as the process is too tedious, and would be more 
unsatisfactory than the usual method of judging by sight. 
Still it is of the utmost importance that all judges should 
bear in mind the relative value of the various points, as held 
in the estimation of breeders and fanciers, to enable them to 
make their awards satisfactory to exhibitors and critics alike. 



THERE is probably no member of the British Canaria family 
more interesting than this, and I am pleased to find that the 
variety is coming more into favour every year, and that classes 
are now provided for it at all our best shows. The reason for 
this breed not being so popular as the Norwich Crests is that 
good specimens are more difficult to obtain, and require a 
much longer time to bring them to a state of perfection. I 
bred the first specimen 6f this variety that I ever saw, some 
thirty-six years ago, but it is quite possible that someone 
may have bred them before me. 

I have also been fortunate enough to breed some of the 
best specimens of this variety that I have ever seen, and one 
of these, a young cock, evenly-marked and crested, which 
I sold to a Mr. Hillyer, of Leicester, took, amongst other 
honours, first prize at the Aquarium Show in London, and 
also first prize at the Crystal Palace, at Sydenham, and he 
is the only male bird I have seen that approached anything 
like perfection. 

His mother was a Cinnamon variegated plum-head, bred from 
a green hen, the produce of a pure well-bred Cinnamon hen 
and a crested-bred Norwich cock. His father was an even- 
marked and Crested Norwich bird, whose mother was bred 
between a Cinnamon canary and a Lancashire Coppy. The 
crested blood in him was all of high-class quality. 

There is no difficulty in breeding Cinnamon crests, especially 
self colours. Put a Cinnamon cock bred for a few generations 

The Cinnamon Crested. 281 

from pure Cinnamons with an evenly - marked and crested 
Norwich hen of good quality ; at the same time put another 
Cinnamon cock with a good pure Lancashire crested hen, and 
select from these pairs the best of the crested and plain-head 
youngsters, picking out all those that have pink eyes or are 
Cinnamon variegated, and mating them with pure greens, as 
some of the progeny are sure to be. Be sure to select and 
keep the best of the crested birds. The following year keep 
the best crests and those that show the best Cinnamon quali- 
ties, and cross them with Yorkshire Cinnamons, as these birds 
inherit a lot of Coppy blood, and it will help you to get size 
and crest, the latter being the most difficult thing to obtain, 
as the admixture of Cinnamon blood tends to shorten the 
crest, and this is the greatest difficulty you will have to 

If you prefer the self-coloured Cinnamons, select the greens 
or heaviest variegated from one pair, and run them with the 
self Cinnamons or heaviest variegated Cinnamons bred from 
the other pair, selecting as a matter of course, one a plain- 
head and the other a crest ; from the later cross select the 
best-crested birds, and mate them with pure bred Yorkshire 
Cinnamons the following year, and so on, going back to the 
crested Norwich and Cinnamon alternately as required for the 
improvement of crest and colour. But if you prefer to breed 
evenly-marked and crested Cinnamons, which are by far the 
handsomest birds of this variety, instead of whole Cinnamons, 
select the best of the Cinnamon variegated plain-heads, and 
put with them marked and crested Norwich birds for first 
cross ; from the produce of these choose the best of the 
crested birds, and pair again with the best of the Cinnamons 
variegated, the produce of the other pairs. Choose hens with 
Cinnamon marked wings and caps, or the nearest approach to 
such. In the following year you must exercise your judg- 
ment in selecting birds bred from the pairs named, and if 
you succeed in breeding any evenly - marked and crested, 
which you ought to do with ordinary luck, keep them, and 
pair with hens or cocks closely related to them, and in a 

282 The Canary Book. 

few years you will be enabled to breed them more frequently. 
Of course, you will breed birds at first that are not what you 
require, these must be discarded, and sold for what they will 
bring in the market. You may pair brothers and sisters or 
first cousins, but do not continue this in-breeding too long, or 
the birds will deteriorate in size and feather. 

In selecting Cinnamons for these operations you must have 
large birds, with plenty of substance and good broad skulls, 
and if they have heavy eye-brows, so much the better, as the 
greatest difficulty you will experience will be to get large 
well-formed crests, as the admixture of the Cinnamon blood 
most undoubtedly has a tendency to circumscribe the crest; 
therefore, to breed a really well-crested Cinnamon variegated 
bird you 'want no more Cinnamon in its composition than 
will give the required colour. On the other hand, if you pur- 
sue the improvement in crest too far you are apt to sacrifice 
the colour; it requires patience, perseverance, and sound 
judgment to obtain what you really want, but .when you 
succeed you will be well repaid for all your trouble, for a 
good bird of this variety can always command a good price 
and plenty of customers, and there is a more open field for 
obtaining success ' than there is in breeding Norwich crests, 
where you have thousands of breeders to contend against, 
whereas the breeders of crest Cinnamons are confined to com- 
paratively few. In a few years these classes will be extended, 
and the demand for them will increase accordingly. These 
birds should be bred and judged by the same methods and 
standards as are applied to the crested Norwich canaries. 



THESE birds are shown in the " Any other variety class," and' 
are generally of the Yorkshire type of bird. Of late years 
some very handsome specimens have been exhibited, and with 
great success. They can be produced by careful breeding and 
selection between the plain-head Cinnamons and the Lancashire 
Coppies. Some go for the Yorkshire type, and in this case 
long thin Lancashires should be used for crossing purposes; 
others prefer them with more substance, and use stouter and 
fuller-bodied birds. The great thing is to get them well and 
evenly-marked, and to obtain this it will be necessary to 
cross with the evenly-marked Yorkshire birds. I also advise 
readers to follow the plan recommended for breeding evenly- 
marked Norwich canaries, and also to resort occasionally 
to in-breeding to fully establish the essential points required, 
i.e., size, colour, markings, feather, and shape. 



ORIGIN. The Norwich Fancy canaries doubtless owe their 
existence as a distinct variety to the town of Norwich, and have 
derived their origin, I believe, from crossing the London Fancy 
or Lizard canaries with the common stock; and by further 
judicious pairing, feeding, and careful moulting they have 
ultimately attained that exquisite colour for which they are so 
widely famed. 

The method of breeding and rearing clear Norwich, in order 
fco produce and retain their rich dazzling plumage throughout 
the show season, was held in such profound secrecy among the 
breeders and exhibitors in Norwich at one time that it was 
publicly asserted by a gentleman of position, then in the 
" fancy," that one hundred pounds would not extract the secret 
of obtaining the high . colour in these birds and the genuine 
process of crossing them and moulting them in order to obtain 
perfection, at least so far as it was then known. Without 
doubt, there was a wonderful amount of freemasonry existing 
among the craft in Norwich some years ago, and they kept 
their secrets remarkably well ; but the bubble burst at last, to 
the chagrin of many, I dare say, and the se*cret of high colour 
became common property. 

VARIETIES. Of the Norwich Fancy canaries there are the 
clears, the evenly marked, the ticked, i he unevenly-marked, the 
green, and the crested varieties. 

The Clear birds have hitherto been held in considerable 

The Norwich Fancy. 285 

estimation by a great many fanciers, and more especially by 
ladies and amateurs, their gorgeous and brilliant plumage being 
their principal attraction; but now that it has become so 
extensively known that those vivid hues can be readily procured 
simply by administering cayenne pepper, mixed with egg and 
biscuits, and given as food during the period of moulting, it 
is a question whether this knowledge will not dispel the fas- 
cination that has hitherto hung around these birds. That it 
will very materially affect their value commercially I think 
there can be no shadow of a doubt. Meanwhile, I believe 
that the best bred birds will reap the greatest advantage 
from this novel regime, and that they will continue in a pro- 
portionate degree, according to breeding, to bear the palm over 
all their competitors of a more lowly origin, but it is just 
possible that I may be wrong in my assumption. However, 
apart from this, there can be little doubt now that, even prior to 
the discovery of this ingenious method of using cayenne, many 
of the most highly coloured specimens exhibited owed in a great 
measure their gaudy glistening colours to some particular mode 
of feeding, for it seems to have been long known to the princi- 
pal breeders in Norwich that the exterior grandeur of these 
birds could be materially improved by giving them certain 
ingredients, mixed with their food and otherwise, during the 
moulting season, and numerous and various have been the 
devices resorted to for this purpose. Among other things which 
have been tried to influence and improve the colour in these 
birds are : Marigold flowers, cochineal, meadow saffron, annatto, 
beetroot, carrots, madder, turmeric, mustard seed, &c., but the 
whole of these ingredients appear to sink into utter insignifi- 
cance, so far as effect is produced, when compared with the 
magical results which have been achieved by the use of the 
cayenne pepper. See chapter on " Moulting " (p. 162). 

In addition to the nostrums already specified, and which 
are intended for internal use only, some unscrupulous persons 
have had the temerity to resort to external embellishments as 
well, and to accomplish their object they have applied such com- 
pounds as " Judson's Dyes " and similar preparations. Where 
these artifices have been detected, the perpetrators have been 

286 The Canary BOOK,. 

in most instances justly exposed, and likewise excluded from 
competing at those shows where their impostures were brought 
to light. 

The Evenly -marked variety of Norwich Fancy canaries is 
much admired and greatly prized by the " talent " or bird critics, 
and is also regarded by many people of taste and discernment 
as being superior in most respects to the much vaunted London 
Fancy variety. One decided advantage the Evenly-marked 
bird certainly has over the last-named breed is this: if it 
happens to shed one of its dark pinion feathers prematurely, 
it is reproduced by a fac simile of the lost feather ; whereas, it 
is otherwise with a London Fancy canary. Another and still 
greater advantage is possessed by the Norwich birds, for they 
can be exhibited for several years in succession, if carefully 
moulted and preserved in good health and fine condition, whilst 
the London Fancies invariably lose their show plumage after the 
second moult. 

Of all the different varieties of Norwich Fancy canaries, there 
are none more beautiful or interesting than the Crested birds, for 
they not only combine when highly bred the rich and brilliant 
plumage of the clear varieties, but the evenly-marked and 
crested classes possess the much admired wing-markings of the 
evenly-marked or variegated birds, and in addition to these 
advantages, they are adorned with an elegant ornament on their 
heads in the form of a crest; this is designated by some fanciers 
a " Top-not," by others a "Grown," a " Coppy," a " Toppin," and 
by a few a " Tassel." 

There can be no doubt that the crest is an innovation among 
the Norwich Fancy canaries, and has doubtless been produced, in 
the first instance, by crossing with the ordinary or common 
crested canary, and the introduction of this extraneous blood, 
whilst imparting the coveted ornament, has greatly detracted 
from the glowing colours that the best specimens of these birds 
so largely inherit. This drawback might by judicious and 
careful crossing be overcome in a few years ; but, unfortunately 
for experimentalists, there are more weighty considerations in 
breeding these birds than the mere attainment of brilliant 
plumage. Good crests are not produced easily, and unless they 

The Norwich Fancy. 287 

are bred in a prescribed manner which I shall point out 
presently they soon deteriorate both in size, form, and colour. 

TRIMMING. There is an amazing amount of trickery carried 
on with marked birds by exhibitors whose conscientious scruples 
are so infinitesimal as in no way to disturb their equanimity, so 
that honest fanciers have but a Very meagre chance of success, 
for those who are experienced manipulators in doctoring these 
birds can make a moderately good bird almost faultless. Eye- 
markings can be put on or enlarged as occasion requires by 
using a preparation of the nitrate of silver ; foul wing and tail 
feathers are extracted and substituted by others. This is done 
by cutting the feathers short off through the quill, leaving a 
socket; corresponding feathers from other birds (not good 
enough to show) are extracted and fitted in, and secured with a 
little thin glue or solution of gum arabic. These and other 
similar devices are frequently resorted to, so that judges re- 
quire to be on the alert ; but many of these transformations arf 
so skilfully and dexterously accomplished as to defy detection. 

MARKING BIRDS. Breeders of canaries on an extensive scale 
are sometimes necessitated to place birds of the same variety, 
but of distinct breeds, in a large flight cage together. When 
this happens, each bird should be marked in one or other of its 
wings, separately, and a record of such markings should be kept 
in the diary. Say, for example, all birds of No. 1 pair are 
marked with a notch made in one of the webs of the two first 
flight feathers of the left wing ; the produce of No. 2 pair^ two 
notches in each feather ; those of No. 3 pair, three notches, and 
so on, making use of both wings if required. These marks are 
made with a pair of ordinary scissors ; but, as much depends on 
being able to identify the different birds for crossing, the greatest 
care in the performance of this duty is necessary. Never resort 
to any part of the bird other than the wings for making these 
marks of identity. The tail feathers are so easily knocked out. 

BREEDING. In selecting stock to breed Clear Norwich from, 
you ought to procure a few superior birds; be sure to purchase 
them from well-established fanciers of good repute and inte- 
grity ; by this means you are mo* likely to succeed in getting 

288 The Canary Book. 

such birds as you need. You will require both clear and marked 
birds to breed clear birds frcm, and rather heavily -marked birds 
too ; indeed, one entirely green, if of good colour and quality, is 
by no means to be despised. I think I cannot do better than 
relate here the method of crossing pursued and recommended by 
one of the oldest, most experienced and successful breeders in 
Norwich, after which I will detail my own experience. The 
method recommended by the breeder referred to is as follows : 
First year : Put a clear yellow cock with a marked buff hen ; be 
sure that she is bred from greens (pied birds) and not from 
' fancy" by the last-mentioned term he explains that he means 
Lizard canaries " because," says he, " Fancy must not be used 
except at the proper time, as I shall tell you." Second year : He 
recommends the young birds (" clears ") to be crossed with clear 
birds from a second pair mated in precisely the same way as the 
first-named pair. Third year: He says, "Take the best clear 
birds bred from the last cross and pair with a clear bird bred 
from the ' Fancy,' and you will find the best birds are got from 
this cross;" he explains that, to obtain a bird such as he 
describes, you must put a Norwich Fancy and a Lizard canary 
together; from the produce of this pair you are to select those 
birds which are the least marked, and pair them with the 
Norwich Fancy again I presume with clear birds of the last- 
named variety ,'but he does not say so. He adds, " In three years 
you will breed clears." "In selecting the final pair to breed 
from they should blow clear all over ; the produce of this cross 
are only for show, and are of no use to breed from." He adds 
significantly, " No honest man would sell you birds bred thus to 
breed from again, nor would I buy a bird to cross with except I 
knew the man I bought it of." See "A Caution" to beginners 
in buying birds (p. 200). 

My own system of breeding clear Norwich canaries is as 
follows : First year : Put a London Fancy and a Lizard canary 
together. At the same time mate two clear buff Norwich 
canaries, and likewise two clear jonques, or yellows ; both the 
last-named pairs must blow clear all over, be close in feather, 
and full of quality. This makes three pairs of birds in all. 
To hope to be successful as an exhibitor, it would be neces- 

The Norwich Fancy. 289 

sary to put together several more pairs on the same plan ; but 
those I have selected are sufficient for me to illustrate the 
principle of crossing I advocate myself. Second year : Select a 
bird from each of the clear pairs of Norwich Fancy, and mate 
them with birds bred between the London Fancy and Lizard 
canaries. Always choose those nearest clear from this cross. 
Third year : Select the lightest marked birds, buff or yellow, 
from the last crosses, and mate again with clear Norwich Fancy 
birds bred from " double buffs " or " double yellows," but be 
sure, in the final cross, to mate them so that the ground colours 
of each are of an opposite hue to each other, i.e., the buff or buff- 
marked birds must be put with clear yellows, and vice versa. 
The result will be found satisfactory. The reason I advocate 
this cross is that birds so bred are greatly affected by cayenne 
and other foods for obtaining high colour. 

To breed Unevenly -marked or Variegated Norwich canaries : 
Put a clear yellow and a yellow marked bird together ; select a 
clear yellow bird from this cross, and mate it with a buff-marked 
bird bred from the last cross in breeding for clear birds, bred 
according to my own method. The produce of this cross will be 
found mostly very rich in colour. The reason alleged for 
breeding from the green varieties is that it strengthens the 
colour and makes it more lasting, and that for introducing the 
Lizard canary cross once in three years with the green birds is 
because it gives a softness to the feathers, and makes them have 
a silky appearance; but if you breed too long in with the 
" green " the feathers get long and rough. 

The Ticked birds are obtained in breeding for clears, and like- 
wise for marked birds. They are simply birds that are not 
quite clear in colour, but have a slight tick, speck, or mark on 
some part of their bodies. The points required are the same as 
those aimed at in breeding clear birds. 

The Green variety is produced by crossing heavily marked 
birds together several times in succession, but two jonques 
(greens) should be put together, say, once in three years, to 
prevent the feathers from becoming too coarse. 

There are probably no breeders of canaries that have so many 
difficulties to encounter in attaining their object as those who 


2go The Canary Book. 

pursue the somewhat tantalising occupation of breeding Evenly- 
marked birds; consequently those who have made up their 
minds to embark in this particular branch of bird-breeding must 
be fully prepared to meet with hopes kindled only to be blighted 
and disappointments innumerable. To breed evenly-marked 
Norwich canaries fit for exhibition, and in the most expeditious 
manner possible, it will be necessary, in the first place, to procure 
a few good evenly-marked birds to begin with, and in selecting 
them I would advise that birds with dark caps be avoided. It is 
absolutely necessary to obtain birds of distinct breeds, free from 
blood relationship, to begin with. Mate two " four-marked " 
birds together; both should be rather lightly-marked than 
otherwise, and one of them at least should have white or flesh- 
coloured legs, and clear under flue feathers (the small feathers 
next the skin) ; this pair, for the sake of distinction, I shall after- 
wards refer to as " No. 1." Next put another evenly-marked bird 
with a perfectly clear one, the latter being bred from a clear 
strain ; it should be large in size, rich in colour, and of undoubted 
quality; this bird should be perfectly clear in colour all over, 
which fact must be ascertained by taking it in the hand and 
blowing back the feathers over and under the body ; this pair I 
shall call "No. 2." The folio wing year select the two best marked 
birds, the produce of No. 1 pair, and mate the heavier marked 
bird of the two with a clear bird, the produce of No. 2 pair, and 
ohe other with the lightest and most evenly marked bird, like- 
wise bred from No. 2 pair. These pairs it will be necessary to 
designate "No. 3" and "No. 4." The following season select from 
the produce of No. 3 and No. 4 the best birds, and pair in the 
manner already pointed out; the young birds from the last 
named pairs will be first cousins, but this is just what is wanted, 
for breeding them in-and-in occasionally is one of the secrets for 
obtaining regularity in markings, but it must not be resorted to 
too frequently, or the birds will soon become small and scant in 
feather. To improve the colour in these birds and to preserve 
the markings, I have found it advantageous to cross with a 
London Fancy bird, say, once in three or four years ; couple a 
bird of the last-named variety with a clear bird, bred by yourself 
from an evenly-marked strain, and keep the clearest birds, the 

The Norwich Fancy. 291 

produce of this cross, or those only marked in the wings, to 
breed from. When the birds get all related through this system 
of crossing, it will be necessary to purchase, from time to time, 
as they are required, one or two good evenly- marked birds from 
some fancier who is reputed for breeding good birds of this 
variety to cross with them. If two evenly-marked birds are put 
together too often, the produce will be heavily marked ; this 
must be regulated by resorting to clear birds bred from an 
evenly-marked strain. The great secret in obtaining good 
evenly-marked birds lies chiefly in the following rules : First, 
in breeding from birds which are evenly-marked, and clear 
birds the produce of an evenly-marked strain ; secondly, in the 
process of consanguinity, or blood relationship ; and thirdly, in 
avoiding all birds for breeding purposes which are irregularly 
marked; no matter how well they may be bred, all such birds 
must be sent to the " right about." 

It will be seen by the foregoing remarks that I have confined 
myself to as few pairs as possible to elucidate the system of 
breeding I advocate; but ere you can hope to be successful in 
producing a few birds fit for competition, it will be necessary to 
breed from several pairs of birds, a.nd if you persevere in 
following the instructions I have given, you will find in the course 
of three or four years that you will be able to produce the even 
markings with wonderful precision and regularity ; but be very 
careful about the introduction of new blood, for if you happen to 
introduce a bird bred from irregularly marked birds, it will cause 
you a great amount of trouble and vexation. I might have 
advised you to put two clear birds, bred from No. 2 pair, to the 
two evenly-marked birds known as No. 1 the second season, but 
I have purposely avoided doing so for fear it might confuse 

For breeding purposes, be sure to keep all the clear birds with 
eye-marks ; these you can utilise where clear birds are required 
with greater advantage. You may likewise preserve all the 
birds with evenly-marked wings and one eye-mark, or birds with 
two eye-marks and one wing-mark, as all birds of this descrip- 
tion are choice stock birds : birds marked on the head, neck, 
chest, or rather heavily in the tail, as well as all irregularly. 

u 2 

29 2 The Canary Book. 

marked or pied birds, .you must dispose of at the first opportunity. 
If you breed a bird with heavy wing markings, but slightly 
marked about the eyes, mate it with a bird that is clear in the 
body, with eye-markings only. If you have a bird with heavy 
eye-markings and lightly marked wings, pair such a bird with 
one that is marked in the wings only, and so on. With these 
instructions you only require experience to enable you to breed 
evenly-marked birds with undoubted success. Birds bred in 
this way for four or five years are very likely to produce evenly- 
marked mules ; choose the clear or very lightly-marked 'birds for 
this purpose. 

It will be necessary to pair two buff-marked birds together 
sometimes, or a buff-marked bird and a clear buff bird from an 
evenly-marked strain, as this tends not only to improve the size 
of the bird, but it increases the quantity of feathers, although, 
as a rule, you should breed from a jonque and mealy (yellow and 

If you desire to breed Crested Norwich canaries (old type) 
for exhibition, you must first procure a few good crested birds, 
either males or females. I prefer the f ormer, as I find that the 
progeny more frequently favour the male parent than otherwise. 
They must in all cases be good specimens, or of undoubted high 
breeding, and you will find it advisable to claim a few prize 
winners at some of our "best shows the Crystal Palace at 
Sydenham is probably the best for this purpose. It is held usually 
in the month of February, which is, or ought to be, the end of the 
legitimate show season, and hence exhibitors are disposed to put 
a selling price upon them if they wish to part with them. If you 
cannot attend the show yourself, the Secretary whom I have 
always found exceedingly obliging at all times will claim for 
you such birds as you require, if you send him a P.O.O. in 
advance and instructions what to do. To an evenly-marked and 
crested cock you should put a clear, or very lightly-marked 
plain-headed hen, bred from a crested strain. You should 
purchase your hens from some respectable, well-known fancier, 
who has made his mark as a breeder of crested birds, to begin 
with ; afterwards keep hens bred by yourself. If the cock 
or hen is a clear bird with a dark crest, then it ought to be 

The Norwich Fancy. .293 

paired with a plain-headed bird of the opposite sex with a darfe 
cap and wing markings, or a clear bird from a dark-crested 
strain ; but by crossing the clear and marked birds together you 
have a chance of getting young birds of both varieties in the 
same nest. In order to improve the colour and quality of your 
birds it will be necessary for you to cross them occasionally with 
clear birds, not of the crested strain; in this case you should 
mate a marked and crested bird, or a clear bird with a dark 
crest, with one as evenly marked as you can procure of a high- 
coloured strain, for if you cross with clear birds you may expect 
to get more grey and clear crested young birds than dark-crested 
ones. Select from this cross the best crested and heaviest marked 
birds, and mate them with clear birds bred from a marked and 
crested strain ; or, better still, if you can procure them, with clear 
bodies with dark caps. Whenever you breed birds of the descrip- 
tion just named be sure to keep them ; they are invaluable for 
breeding purposes, and far more difficult to procure than crested 
birds. To improve the evenly-marked and crested birds in their 
markings, you will be obliged to cross a clear bird with a dark 
crest, or one lightly wing-marked, with an evenly wing-marked 
bird of the plain evenly-marked strain (four marked), and if 
marked about the head it is so much the more to be preferred, 
but must be marked nowhere else ; this should be done about once 
in three or four years. It is the regular custom to couple a 
jonque and mealy bird together (yellow and buff), but if you wish 
to breed large birds, close in feather, with large well-formed 
crests, you must frequently breed from two buffs or mealies, but 
be sure that one is crested, and the other crested bred ; this must 
not be overdone, or the produce will be coarse. I sometimes 
select a bird nearly all green, with a crest, and cross it with a 
clear bird, as it improves the colour both of the body feathers 
and the crests. When you have succeeded in producing a race 
of birds with crests and markings to your liking, breed them, 
together occasionally a little " sib " (consanguinity), say, first 
cousins, but be careful not to overdo it, or the produce will 
become small, weak, and puny. By the adoption of this method 
you will perpetuate the features you require. 

If you pair two crested birds with each other, their progeny, as 

2Q4.' The Canary Book. 

a rule, will be bald at the back of the head, or have mop crests, 
which is a great disfigurement in either case. The majority of 
crested birds are more or less bald behind the crest; but by 
breeding two buffs together you will soon overcome this defect. 

A crested bird can be identified when it is only a few days old 
by its peculiar formation of the head, and a very small smooth 
spot is generally visible on the top and at the back of the 
cranium. As soon as you discover that you have an unusually 
good crested bird, place it by itself as soon as it is able to feed 
on seed; and be sure that the cage in which you place it is 
provided with good sized holes to get its head through when 
feeding or drinking, or the crest will get chafed and disfigured. 
After a crested bird has moulted it should not be placed with 
another bird until the show season is over, because the other 
bird is pretty certain to pluck its crest, and the feathers will not 
grow again until the bird moults. 

Before concluding this subject, I would strenuously advise 
those who are devoted to the Norwich Fancy canaries not to 
neglect the methods of crossing pointed out to improve the 
breed, as I am convinced that it will in the end prove more satis- 
factory than the newly-discovered system of feeding to produce 
high colour, and which, I think, must of necessity be attended 
with baneful results, as such a powerful stimulant as cayenne 
pepper cannot but be injurious to the health of canaries. See 
" The Influence of various Ingredients on the Colour of Canaries 
and their Hybrids " (p. 171). 

CLASSES. The clear Norwich canaries, as well as the evenly 
marked, the crested, the ticked, the green, and the unevenly 
marked, are each divided into two separate classes, i.e., jonques 
and mealies. 

In the Clear varieties there are the jonques and mealies, better 
known as yellows and buffs, but " orange " would be a much 
more appropriate and fitting name for the first-mentioned 
variety, and " orange mealies " for the latter, as these appella- 
tions are more truly descriptive of their real colours. 

There are only two classes for Evenly -marked birds, which are 
arranged thus: Evenly marked yellow Norwich canaries and 
evenly-marked buff Norwich canaries, and these may consist of 

The Norwich Fancy. 295 

" two-marked," " four-marked," or- " six-marked " birds ; for, with 
all or any of these markings, a bird is eligible for competition ; 
all being entered in the same class, under one or other of the 
names just referred to. 

The Crested canaries are divided into six classes as follows : 
Clear buff, clear yellow, evenly - marked buff, evenly-marked 
yellow, unevenly- marked buff and unevenly-marked yellow ; 
although it is seldom that committees of shows set apart more 
than four, and moie frequently only two classes, for these 
varieties, which is unsatisfactory alike to exhibitors and judges 
The evenly-marked and crested birds are considered, by most 
fanciers, as the first of the crested varieties, and next to those 
the clear bodied and dark crested are held in the highest 

POINTS. In size, shape, and general appearance, the Clear 
and Ticked Norwich resemble the marked and crested varieties, 
the chief distinction being that those under consideration are 
quite plain ; that is to say, destitute of ornament in the shape of 
even markings, crests, &c., but they ought to' excel the other 
varieties in richness, depth, and brilliancy of colour, Despite the 
efforts that have been made by a few fanciers, who are deeply 
interested in these birds, to overrule this hitherto universally 
acknowledged chief feature, as the principal charm, and to set 
up a new theory of qualifications, it cannot succeed, for the 
merest tyro in the " fancy " knows quite well that colour has 
always been considered the ruling characteristic in these birds. 
This refers to the old type of crested Norwich. See chapter on 
the new type (p. 314). 

The choicest specimens of the Unevenly -marked varieties are 
unquestionably those with perfectly oval caps and even wing 
markings ; indeed, it is a matter of opinion as to whether birds 
marked in the manner described are not entitled to be considered 
evenly-marked. For my part, I contend that they are, for the 
simple reason that canaries only possess one head each, and 
hence an oval cap should be regarded as a regular marking ; but 
as birds of this description are permitted to be exhibited in the 
unevenly-marked class, without complaint, I have no desire to 
disturb this arrangement. When the cap is wall formed and the 

296 The Canary Book. 

wing-markings even, a bird of this sort presents a very attractive 
appearance, and has a host of admirers. Next to a bird marked 
as described, I should prefer one with dark cap, eye-markings, 
and wing-uiarkings, or one with evenly -marked wings and eyes, 
and one dark feather in the tail, and next to these, a bird with 
one eye mark and evenly marked wing, Colour and quality, 
however, in this class of birds are indispensably requisite. 

The principal features which entitle Evenly -mar Iced Norwich 
canaries to the distinguished position which they hold are their 
gorgeous colours and regular and artistic markings, but more 
especially the latter, as they are most difficult to obtain, even 
to an approximation of the criterion of excellence. 

The first and most important of the markings in the evenly- 
marked birds are those of the wings. A bird may have two, 
four, five, seven, or any similar number of dark feathers in each 
wing, or it may have five in one wing and seven in the other, or 
any similar or other number, and still be considered a legitimate 
candidate for this class, so long as the wings appear even to the 
unaided eye ; but a bird so marked will show to disadvantage if 
shown against a bird with perfect wing markings that is to say, 
if a judge is careful, and handles the birds when performing his 
judicial functions, which too many of them neglect to do. There 
are very few birds perfect in this respect, even among those 
which figure prominently as winners at our best shows. Some 
judges prefer a bird lightly marked in the wings ; others, again, 
prefer them heavily marked rather than otherwise ; but a bird 
with the first nine pinion feathers white, and the remaining nine, 
or the secondary pinions, black, corresponding exactly on each 
side, is, without doubt, the most perfect of all, and those nearest 
to this standard come next. Many birds, and birds of great 
merit, too, very frequently are possessed of a " mixed " wing, 
that is, one or two white feathers intermixed with the black ones 
or vice versa ; both are regarded as grave faults, but more 
particularly the latter, as it is more readily detected by the 
naked eye. 

The next markings of importance are those of the eye. Some 
birds are pencilled in front of the eyes only, and others behind 
the eyes, whilst others again are pencilled both in front of and 

The Norwich Fancy. 297 

behind the eyes, which is preferable to being marked on one side 
of each eye only ; but the most approved and perfect eye- 
markings are those which encircle the eye completely, and these 
are known as " spectacle " eye-marks ; they should not be either 
too large or too small, but proportionate with the size of .the 
bird, and in keeping with the wing-markings ; when well formed 
they ought to be elliptic, or egg-shaped. 

Symmetry in marking is an important consideration, and one 
which is too frequently overlooked or ignored. The other 
recognised markings are one or two dark feathers on each side 
of the tail; but these must be the extreme outside feathers, 
and none others. Such markings maybe regarded as doubtful 
acquisitions, although a few of the " old school " profess to 
cherish a liking for them. Nevertheless, there can be no 
question that a perfectly " four-marked " bird is the beau ideal of 
a bird of this variety I mean a bird with good wing and eye 
markings, and a clear tail. " Two-marked " birds may be 
possessed of wing markings only, or of eye-markings only, with 
a clear body, but a bird having a clear body and a dark feather 
on each side of the tail only, is not so recognised. Many good 
judges prefer a bird with evenly-marked wings and a clear body 
to a " six-marked " bird, as they look upon the tail markings as 
a detraction and not as an embellishment, but those with eye- 
markings only are the least valued of all except for mule 

It will be found, on closely examining an evenly-marked bird, 
that its eye-markings do not exactly correspond; at least, I 
never saw one with both eye-markings precisely alike, and I have 
scrutinised hundreds. Those birds with eye-markings most 
closely resembling each other are to be preferred. A good 
saddle is an indispensable requisite to an evenly-marked bird, 
and a point deserving of attentive consideration, as a finely 
formed, full, flowing saddle greatly enhances the appearance of 
the wing- markings. Some fanciers term evenly-marked wings 
V shaped, but I fail to see the force of this, as a V is much 
thicker on one side than the other, and therefore, a bird to be 
V wing-marked must have one wing more heavily-marked than 
the other, hence it would not be even. 

298 The Canary Book. 

With the exception of the markings already described, a bird 
of this variety should be clear in all other parts of the body, and 
it is desirable that it should be free from dark feathers in the 
saddle and coverlets, whether of wings or tail. The greater 
portion of marked birds are dark in their under-flue feathers, 
and others again are tinged on the thighs, vent and rump, and 
have dark legs and feet. These are only regarded as minor 
considerations: but where two birds are equal in merit in all 
other respects, the bird that possesses the fewest of these 
blemishes is undoubtedly entitled to bear the palm. 

The evenly-marked Norwich canaries are about five inches and 
upwards in length. In form they resemble the original, or, as it 
is more frequently named, the common canary. They should 
have round, full heads; necks medium in length, and rather 
stout ; bodies full and plump, with deep, broad, well-developed, 
and prominent chests ; broad, well-filled backs, and substantial 
shoulders; legs rather short, but well set; carriage easy and 
commanding, with plenty of vivacity. 

The Crested Norwich birds in size and general conformation 
resemble very closely the foregoing variety. The head should 
be round, broad, and full ; the neck moderately long, and gradu- 
ally increasing in thickness from the junction next the head to 
the shoulders; the body should be full and plump, and of a 
demi-semi-circular form from the throat to the vent ; the back 
broad at the shoulders, tapering towards the tail, and slightly 
curved outwardly ; the tail projecting in an obtuse manner from 
the body, although it is usually termed " straight " by fanciers. 
The chest should be deep, broad, and full. The body colour 
clear, bright, vivid and level throughout, except the shoulder 
blades, or pinion covers and rump, which are always more 
intense in colour in highly-bred birds this is termed " quality " 
by the cognoscenti. The flights, tail feathers, and vents of all 
birds are invariably paler, but more so in some birds than in 
others. Closeness and firmness of feather are advantageous, and 
likewise denote quality ; and a full well-formed circular saddle 
is a great acquisition, especially to a marked bird, for it shows 
the wing markings to much greater advantage, and makes 
them appear more angular, or, as it is generally termed, 

the Norwich Fancy. 299 

" cleaner cut." The feathers should be silky in textnre and 

The crested birds are generally a little inferior in colour, 
when compared with the choicest specimens of the clear 
varieties, but it is amazing what amount of improvement has 
taken place in crested birds in this respect during the last 
few years. 

The crest consists of a tuft of feathers which cover the upper 
portion or crown of the head, and it is formed in many respects 
like a flower, as it appears to converge to a point or centre, and 
the feathers overlap each other like the leaves or petals of a rose, 
or marigold, falling or drooping partly over the beak, eyes, and 
back part of the head of the bird, and this feature constitutes the 
chief point of beauty in this variety of canary. The crest varies 
in shape,- size, and colour. There are the elliptic or oval crest, 
the round or circular crest, and the shield crest (so called from 
its resemblance in form to the escutcheon) ; the last is rounded 
in front, and as it extends backward from the centre or orifice it 
expands in breadth, and terminates in an almost horizontal line, 
except at the extreme outer edges, where two small elongated 
tufts of feathers (one on each side corresponding) project like two 
diminutive horns ; these are termed by some " pheasants' ears." 
A well-formed crest of this description is exceedingly handsome, 
more particularly when it is adorned with a hood that is, 
with a dark patch of feathers extending from behind the eyes 
of the bird, and down the back part of the neck for some dis- 
tance, c r md partly over each side of it as well. In shape it is like 
a monk's cowl, and is frequently termed a "hood crest," and 
sometimes a " curtain crest," and when perfect in form it is 
considered by connoisseurs as the chef-d'ceuvre of crests. 

A good crest of any form should have a clearly denned but 
well filled centre, from which the feathers should fall gracefully 
in every direction over the head; it should likewise be well 
filled and closely packed, without a break or split in any part 
of it. It ought to come well over the beak, eyes, and base of 
the skull ; the longer and thicker it is the better, provided 
it is well formed and well proportioned. It should be as flat 
as possible on the top, and have the appearance of having been 

300 The Canary Book. 

pressed with a flat iron. The colour most admired is dark 
green, approaching to black. Next to green comes grey or 
mottled, called by some fanciers "grizzled;" clear crests are 
held in the least esteem of all, so far as colour becomes a 
consideration. You cannot get a crest too dark, nor too large, 
provided it is well-formed and densely packed. The formation 
of the crest is the chief consideration, next size, and lastly, 
colour. It is not customary at shows to make separate classes 
for the different forms of . crests ; all are shown together, and 
each fancier has his opinion as to which he considers best. 

I know from experience that the most difficult form of crest 
fco produce in anything like perfection is the shield crest with 
the hood; and those who have made crested birds their 
particular study will acknowledge that this is by far the 

The Evenly-marked and Crested canaries look best, I always 
think, when they are not too lightly wing-marked. I prefer 
a bird with the first six or seven large fligh feathers clear and 
the remainder dark. The darker and more defined they are, the 
more valuable the bird possessing them becomes. In a really 
first-class specimen of this variety none of the wing coverlets or 
saddle feathers should be dark, only the flights specified and the 
crest; a mixed wing is a fault, that is, a white feather inter- 
mixed with the dark ones, and this frequently happens. A self- 
coloured tail, whether dark or clear, and even a mixed tail, 
provided the dark feathers are at the outer edges of the tail, 
and correspond, is admissible, but a clear tail is without doubt 
most esteemed. A black feather o'r more on one side of the tail 
only, although the bird has evenly- marked wings, is considered 
a disqualification in an evenly-marked and crested class, and a 
bird so marked should be entered in the " unevenly-marked," or 
" any other variety " class. For my part, and many fanciers are 
of the same opinion, I should be disposed to admit a bird of this 
description into the evenly-marked class, and count three points 
against it for the defect, as it is birds of this stamp that tempt 
unscrupulous fanciers to tamper with them. 

STANDARDS OP EXCELLENCE. TLe following tables will be 
found to give accurate estimates of the relative points of merit 

The Norwich Fancy. 301 

in the different varieties, 100 points to be regarded as a maxi- 
mum of perfection : 



Colour, the principal considerations being vividness, 

clearness, and purity, the tint mostly esteemed 

being deep orange, and distributed evenly and re- 

gularly over the breast, back, vent, &c., of the bird 45 

Quality, for extra brilliancy and sheen, particularly on 

. the crown of the head, pinions, or shoulder blades 

and rump, and for having a fine silvery luminosity 

pervading the head, neck, breast, &c 20 

Size of birds, for length and substance 8 

Condition and feathers , 15 

Contour aud carriage... , 6 

Saddle 6 

Total ~100 

For the Ticked and Green varieties the same standard as that 
given for the clear birds will be found equally applicable ; but 
with regard to the Unevenly -marked birds the markings, which 
form an interesting feature in- this class, must be taken into 
consideration. I therefore give the following as a standard of 
excellence : 



Markings , 20 

Colour 30 

Quality 15 

Size (length and substance) 8 

Condition and feathers 15 

Contour and carriage 6 

Saddle 6 

Total "WO 

The following is the Standard of Excellence for Evenly -marked . 
Birds : 



Colour for richness, intensity, and regularity through- 
out 25 

Marking and pencilling, 35 points, sub-divided thus: 

Wing-marking 20 

Eye-marking 15 

Saddle for fulness, shape, and closeness 8 

Condition and quality (meal or floss) 10 

Size (length and substance of bird) 8 

Feathers for firmness and sheen 8 

Contour and carriage 6 

Total ... 100 

302 The Canary Book. 

The Standard of Excellence for Crested Norwich is as follows : 


Crest 45 points, sub-divided as follows : 

Form and size of crest 30 

Colour of crest 7 

Centre of crest 8 

Total ~ 45 

Colour of bird for depth, evenness, and biilliancy .. 10 

Wing-marking 10 

Condition and quality 10 

Feathers 1G 

Contour and size of bird 10 

Saddle , 5 

Total 55 

- Grand Total 100 

All show birds ought to have good sound legs and feet ; the 
wings ought not to overlap each other at the tips, nor droop 
from the shoulder like a " slip wing." 

An otherwise good bird might, through an accident, lose a 
claw, or cross or droop its wings more than is natural. I do 
not think it would be right to disqualify it as a show bird on 
this account; but all such imperfections ought to be carefully 
looked for by judges, and, when discovered, should be fully 
considered and well weighed ere the awards are made, and for 
each defect so many points should be deducted from the 
qualities of the bird so maimed as they considered right and 
just to all parties concerned. 

The standard for judging the clear and unevenly-marked 
Crested varieties, with the exception of the wing markings, is 
the same as that already given. At those shows where the three 
classes are merged in one it is for the committees to say whether 
the wing markings of the evenly-marked birds are to count, as 
judges, not being instructed to the contrary, should adhere to 
the standard. 

WHAT is AN EVENLY-MARKED BIRD? This question has 
frequently been asked of late, and there appears to be much 
difference of opinion on the subject. I will endeavour to 
explain the matter clearly and tersely. 

The Norwich Fancy. 303 

A bird marked with a round spot in front of each eye ia 
known as a " pea-eye-niarked " bird ; other eye markings consist 
of a line in front or behind the eye, and frequently both ; and 
in other cases the eyes are surrounded with oval or roundish 
dark markings, known amongst fanciers as "spectacle eye 
marks." These last-named are considered the most perfect, and 
consequently are most esteemed. When a bird is possessed of any 
of these appendages and a perfectly clear body in other respects 
it is considered evenly-marked, and is termed a ." two-pointed " 
bird. If, however, in addition to these marks it has a dark 
feather clearly visible in either wing or the tail, then it is 
classed with the unevenly-marked or variegated birds. If. a 
bird is marked near one eye only, and is quite clear in colour 
on all other parts of the body, it is known as a ticked bird. 

A bird marked in each wing, although it may have five dark 
feathers in one wing and seven in the other, or seven in one 
and nine in the other, or similarly marked, but appearing even 
to the unaided eye, is considered an evenly-marked bird, and 
is designated a " two-pointed " bird also ; but if marked at one 
eye only and on any other part of the body including tail in 
addition, then it becomes an unevenly-marked bird. A bird 
marked at each eye and in each wing and nowhere else, is 
undoubtedly the most perfect type of the evenly-marked 
variety, and is termed a "four pointed" bird. I consider a 
bird with well-formed spectacles or oval eye-markings, and 
the nine secondary flying feathers in each wing coloured, the 
beau ideal of an evenly-marked bird. Again, a bird marked 
at each eye and each wing, and with one or two dark 
feathers on each side of the tail (being the extreme outside 
feathers) is also an evenly-marked bird, and is known as a 
"six pointed" bird; but if it has only a dark feather on one 
side of the tail it is not eligible, but with two on one side 
and only one on the other it is still regarded as an evenly- 
marked bird. The dark tail feathers are, in my opinion, a 
drawback rather than an advantage, although I know that 
some fanciers differ with me on this point. I have never 
seen a perfect evenly-marked bird, nor do I believe one has 

304 The Canary Book. 

ever been bred by any fancier. Some years ago I made this 
variety of bird my especial study, and I bred some of the 
most perfectly marked birds I have ever seen, and some of 
them were never beaten when exhibited in the best of company. 
It is rare to get the eye-markings nearly equal, and in the 
wings there will generally be found one or two more dark 
feathers in one wing than in the other, and one or two white 
feathers mixed up with the dark, or a few dark feathers in 
the saddle near the junction of the wings may occasionally 
be found just above the rump, or on the rump, vent, or 
thighs. These blemishes do not entitle the birds to be shown 
in any other class than the one for the evenly-marked, and 
when allowed to remain they count as points against them"? 
but I am sorry to say many exhibitors manipulate birds 
showing such blemishes to a considerable extent. It is not 
uncommon for an otherwise perfect bird to have a few dark 
feathers at the butts of the wings, which is a great blemish, 
and when judging a class of this sort I have frequently had 
to disqualify birds for being " faked " (trimmed) many of 
them even by some of our most successful exhibitors. I need 
not say that the practice is a dishonest one and a robbery 
from honest fanciers. 

WHAT is A VARIEGATED BIRD? This is another bone of con- 
tention among fanciers, but' one that is not, in my opinionj 
difficult to settle. A variegated bird is simply a bird diversified 
in colour, and whether these colours appear in the shape of 
even- or uneven-marking, it is to all intents and purposes a 
bird diversified in colour, .and consequently a variegated bird. 
You cannot go beyond the definitions given by the compilers 
of our dictionaries. I am aware that many bird fanciers do 
not regard an evenly-marked bird as a variegated bird, but 
it is so nevertheless. To prevent any misunderstanding, the 
Committees of Shows should exercise the utmost care in com- 
piling their schedules of prizes, and state precisely what variety 
of birds are intended to be allowed to compete in certain classes, 
and this should be done in the clearest manner possible. The 
word variegated has proved " misleading to many exhibitors, 

The Norwich Fancy. 305 

and, therefore, I would suggest that the most straightforward 
plan would be to state clearly and emphatically what is really 
meant. For instance, supposing you wish to include in one 
class all variegated birds, whether marked in regular or an 
irregular manner, the schedule should read thus : Evenly- 
marked, Unevenly-marked, or Ticked. If you wish to exclude 
the Evenly-marked, then the words, Unevenly-marked or Ticked 
should be substituted. But what are you going to do with 
the evenly-marked birds, which are really the gems of this 
variety ? You surely would not relegate them to the other 
variety class, as it would be an undoubted injustice to do so. 
At some shows, in fact at most of the best shows, separate classes 
are given for evenly-marked specimens, and this order of things 
I consider much the best, but at small shows, such liberality 
cannot be exercised on account of the expense. Therefore, 
when judges find that evenly-marked, unevenly-marked, and 
ticked birds all compete together, every allowance should be 
made for size, shape, colour, quality of feather, and condition ; 
and as the evenly-marked birds lose considerably in colour and 
frequently in size and form, the contest is often keener than 
many suppose ; for it must be remembered that all birds not 
eligible for competition in an evenly-marked class must of 
necessity be eligible for an unevenly-marked class, and this 
would include all birds marked in each wing and with a dark 
cap ; all birds evenly-marked in the wings and at _the eyes 
but with one dark feather in the tail, or with evenly-marked 
wings and one eye mark; and those marked at each eye and 
in each wing but with a small spot or speck on the crown 
or centre of the head. These, of course, are the perfection of 
unevenly-marked birds so far as markings are concerned, and 
in a class including both varieties these birds frequently make 
the contest very warm, as a little extra size, or superior colour 
or contour, may easily cast the balance of points in their 

Some fanciers would like to have three and five pointed 
birds relegated to the evenly-marked classes, but this I regard 
as nonsensical. I would rather see all marked birds come 

306 The Canary Book. 

under the simple head of "Variegated," for by no rule of 
logic or common sense can an unevenly - marked bird be 
classed as an evenly-marked one. Birds that are heavily or 
badly marked require to be possessed of some extraordinary 
merit beyond their markings to have even a remote chance 
of success as a prize winner, when competing against such 
birds as I have described. 

WHAT is A TICKED BIRD ? There's the rub ! A bond fide 
ticked bird is a bird that possesses one clear and distinct 
dark tick or spot on some part of the body, that can be 
discovered without the aid of a magnifying glass, or straining 
the sight for the space of ten minutes to find its where- 
abouts. I do not consider a clear-bodied bird with a little 
dark under-flue feather on the thigh or at the vent a ticked 
bird. Birds with these slight blemishes are eligible to com- 
pete in clear classes, and such trivial defects should be taken 
into consideration in awarding the prizes. I do not place 
much weight on these defects myself, and would only count 
two or three neutral points against birds so marked. 

Evenly- and unevenly-marked Cinnamons of the Norwich 
type are never shown in classes for Norwich birds, but are 
invariably entered in the A.O.Y. class ; the same remarks are 
equally applicable to Cinnamon-marked birds of the York- 
shire varieties. 

For my part I see no reason why Cinnamon-marked birds 
of the Norwich type, or the same variety of birds of the 
Yorkshire type, should not compete against green-marked 
birds of the same varieties, and where committees decide on 
this the fact should be specially mentioned in the schedules. 
No doubt this opens up another question, and that is, why 
should not Cinnamon crests be made to compete in the 
Crested-Norwich classes ? My answer is, that this may be 
regarded as quite the exception to the rule, from the fact 
that the introduction of Cinnamon blood stultifies the crest 
properties, and, therefore, a Cinnamon-crested bird would 
have no possible chance of competing with success in this 
class. But with marked birds it is otherwise, as the 

The Norwich Fancy. 307 

Cinnamon colour does not interfere with regular marking, as 
may be proved from the fact that some of the best of the 
evenly-marked Yorkshire birds of the day are Cinnamon- 

In a mixed class of variegated birds, an evenly-marked 
bird has undoubtedly a greater chance of gaining a prize 
than a patched-about bird, or even a ticked bird, as great 
weight is always given to regularity of marking. On the 
other hand, to preserve these features, in-breeding has to be 
greatly resorted to, and this has a tendency to deteriorate 
qualities, such as size, colour, feather, form, and robustness, 
and these points can always be obtained in greater per- 
fection in a ticked or irregular- marked bird. Judges officiat- 
ing at shows where mixed classes prevail, have to use their 
best endeavours to balance all the points enumerated in a 
fair and impartial manner; and then in the absence of one 
or two high class specimens of evenly-marked birds, there 
is a greater chance of success for the exhibitors of ticked 
and irregular-marked specimens than many exhibitors believe. 
Still, I have no desire to allure the owners of these birds 
into the belief that a chance of winning a prize with a 
moderate specimen is not remote; on the contrary, I say that 
it would be useless to expect to take a prize in such a class 
as this with a ticked or unevenly-marked bird, unless it 
excelled greatly in size, form, colour quality, and condition. 




As prognosticated by me in the last edition of this book, 
a great and marked change has taken place in the style and 
type of this variety of canary. 

Owing to the introduction of cayenne and other ingredients 
for producing deep, bright colour (which is regarded as the 
chief feature in this class of birds), the original small, active, 
dapper little Norwich bird of former days, famed for its rich, 
natural mellow colours, its lovely silky feathers, its close- 
fitting coat, and clean-cut appearance and active movements, 
has now been superseded by a larger, more heavily feathered 
and bulky bird, created between the bird last described and the 
Yorkshire and Lancashire varieties mixed, to obtain greater 
length and substance of body. A great deal has been written 
and said on this subject by many of the leading fanciers of this 
variety. In 1890 a conference on the subject was held at the 
Crystal Palace Show, and a meeting formed of some of the 
principal exhibitors, dealers, general fanciers, amateurs, and 
judges, and a standard to breed to was agreed upon. The 
birds, according to this, should be thick and cobby in shape, 
and should measure so much as six-and-a-half inches in length 
whereas the old style used to measure from five-and-a-quarter 
to five-and-three-quarter inches, and an inch added to the 
length of a bird is equal to twelve inches added to the height 
of a man; so the plain-head Norwich are enlarged almost 
beyond recognition. Of course, to obtain this style of bird 

(First Prize Crystal Palace, 1899. Ownevs, Messrs. Angus and Crane.) 

The Modern Plain-head Norwich. 309 

the type is considerably altered owing to the infusion of so 
much foreign blood the beautiful rich, natural colour and 
silkiness of feather are considerably sacrificed. But for the 
use of condiments to produce the required colour no such 
change would have been tolerated, so that it is doubtful 
whether the discovery of this method of obtaining artificial 
colour is of any benefit whatever to bird fanciers generally. 

I think that six inches should have been the utmost limit 
allowed to birds of this variety, and if the same free license 
is continued to be allowed to breeders, it will soon become a 
difficult matter not only for amateurs, but even for judges, 
to distinguish the plain-head from the crested-bred, and, in 
some cases, these latter from thick-set Yorkshire birds. It is 
a great mistake, in my opinion, to bring the type of these 
varieties so closely together. Of course, we know that a 
Yorkshire bird should be slimmer, lighter, more graceful, and 
more erect than a Norwich bird, and that a crest-bred should 
be fuller in the head and body, and have the overhanging 
eyebrows which, in a plain-head, would be esteemed a fault; 
but according to the present method of producing these 
varieties, a plain-head Norwich is often difficult to distin- 
guish from a small Yorkshire bird, and another, probably 
out of the same nest, may just as nearly resemble a crest- 
bred ; and if this tendency to increase the size in these 
varieties is cherished, I contend that in a short time it will 
be possible to breed specimens of Norwich plain-heads, crest- 
bred plain-heads, and Yorkshires, from the same pair of 
birds. This possibility, in my opinion, ought not to exist; 
but since the rage for large birds has become a craze of 
the present generation of fanciers, and many of the most 
attractive qualities are more or less ignored, I fear that in 
a short time we shall entirely lose some of the best features 
of the old and beautiful bird which so greatly charmed our 

The question may some day be asked, who is to blame for 
these tilings ? My answer would be, the judges. These are 
the men who ought to lead and guide exhibitors, instead 

310 The Canary Book. 

of, as at present, pandering to the whims and fancies of 
inexperienced breeders. 

"Where this craving for size, to the detriment of all 
other qualities, will lead, I do not pretend to know, but I 
think it has already done an incalculable amount of mischief. 
Amateurs desirous of breeding these modern plain-heads 
should, if possible, procure hens of the old original strains, 
and mate these with large specimens of the crest-breds, with 
long stout bodies, broad deep chests, wide substantial backs, 
small narrow heads, and short tails ; or they may pair a 
hen of the description named with a Lancashire plain-head 
cock, and select from this cross the shortest and stoutest 
birds (many of which will not exceed six or six-and-a-half 
inches in length), and pair these again with small, short, 
thick-set, crest-bred plain-heads; or a bird bred between a 
Lancashire and a Yorkshire first cross may be put to a bird 
of the original Norwich type to breed these modern varieties 
from. It is all a matter of taste and judicious selection. The 
colour can be obtained by feeding during the moulting pro- 
cess, but those birds which show richest in natural colour, 
and which have favoured the primitive type, will assuredly 
show up best, so far as colour is concerned, at the end of 
the process. If you first cross the plain-head and crest-bred 
together, in some cases too much skull and eyebrow will 
be produced, but if these birds are again crossed with a 
good specimen of the small Yorkshire variety, the present 
admired type will be obtained. As soon as you succeed in 
getting the birds up to the required standard of size and 
shape, breed them sib i.e., in and in for a generation or 
two, and then introduce fresh blood from some other fancier, 
who has a similar type of birds to your own. It takes a 
few years to produce in anything like perfection a new style 
or type of canary. 

The only thing further that will be needed will be to feed 
according to the methods we recommend to obtain colour, 
but it will be found that birds bred in this way will be 
better adapted to the yellow than the red-fed classes for 

The Modern Plain-head Norwich. 311 

shows. Of course, it will be necessary to exercise care and 
judgment in selecting your breeding stock ; broad-headed birds 
showing too much eyebrow must be discarded ; symmetry, colour, 
and compact tightly-feathered birds must be chosen, if you 
expect to succeed in breeding prize specimens. The large- 
headed, thick-set, long-feathered offshoots should be crossed 
with Lancashire plain-heads, to obtain birds to show in the 
crest-bred plain-heads ; but unless they have big, broad heads, 
heavy drooping brows, deep broad chests and heavy shoulders, 
' with a profusion of body feather of good length, they will not 
be suitable. 

Birds bred in this way are useful to cross with Cinnamon 
birds to obtain size and shape, but it must not be overdone, 
or you will lose too much colour, which, in my opinion, is 
the greatest feature in a Cinnamon canary. As the Norwich 
canary originated in the city of that name, the name is still 
upheld, but the present type of bird owes its origin as much 
or more to the* Yorkshire and Lancashire crosses than it 
does to the bird so called. It is known that Norwich fanciers 
and exhibitors have had to go to Yorkshire to obtain fresh 
blood both for breeding and exhibiting this modern variety, 
but this will only be for a limited period, for there are no 
keener or more spirited fanciers of canaries in the world than 
are to be found in Norwich. 

Some twenty-six years ago, I, with Messrs. Jno. R-utter, 
Thos. Clark, C. J. Ayre, Geo. Shiel, Edwin Mills, W. Rogers, 
Siiaiton Hall, and a few others, got up an open all-England 
show in Sunderland, and I was much astonished to find that 
Mr. Richard Mackley and Mr. G. Collinson came all the way 
from Norwich with their show specimens; Mr. W. Walter, 
from Winchester, Hants, and Mr. Howarth Ashton (with 
his man, Jones), from Manchester. I made all the prelimi- 
nary arrangements for this show up to the time of opening, 
but being held at Christmas-time I could not see my way 
clear to continue as acting secretary, and I tried to get Mr. 
Mills to take my place. He objected, but said, "I can find 
you a man that will do the work admirably, but he knows 

312 The Canary Book. 

nothing about birds ; nevertheless, he will do everything in 
his power to carry out your wishes." This man was the late 
William Anthony Blakston, and he proved a very useful 
adjunct, and this was the means by which he was brought 
into the "fancy." He was an astute and intelligent man, 
and one that could readily pick the brains of most men, but 
as a practical breeder his experience was very limited ; 
his knowledge was gained from other men, such as Rutter, 
Clarke, Wilkinson, and others. I do not say this in dis- 
paragement of Mr. Blakston, whom I have always considered as 
a shrewd, clever, and ingenious man, and a fluent writer, and as 
such I have always admired him, but I believe that many 
people who did not know him intimately run away with the 
idea that he gained his knowledge from practical breeding 
and observation, which was not the case. He could truly 
have said with Wotton, " I am but a gatherer and dispenser 
of other men's stuff." 

The interest taken in birds now, as compared with the bird 
fancy thirty years ago, may be taken from the fact that 
Messrs. Mackley, of Norwich, alone dispose of something 
like 20,000 birds in a year, whereas thirty years ago the 
sale out of Norwich would probably not reach 1000, spread 
over the whole of the breeders in that city, whilst I should 
think that more than 40.000 birds were sold in Norwich 
during the year 1890. 

The bird selected as a model for the modern type is thick- 
set, or very stout in body, a deep broad chest, broad back, 
substantial shoulders, a neat round head, plenty of feather, 
close-fitting wings, and a moderately long tail a tail in every 
way proportionate to the size of the bird, and the lighter and 
more compact it is the better a broad spreading tail is an 
eye-sore. The bird should stand semi-erect, and well over the 
perch, and there should be no loose feathers about the breast, 
thighs, or vent, and no appearance of eyebrows. The entb* 
covering of the bird should be tight-fitting, the colour rich? 
level, deep in tone, bright in hue, well fringed with meal, and 
soft and silk-like in texture, which denotes high quality. It 

The Modern Plain-head Norwich. 313 

takes some time to breed a truly typical bird, and hence high- 
class specimens are rare and costly, both for exhibition and 
breeding purposes. Even the best known specimens at times 
breed inferior stock; still prize winners generally come from 
the best birds. 



SOME thirty- seven years ago crested birds were despised, and 
I have laboured all these years, not only in cultivating the 
breed, but also in encouraging a taste for it in others, and I 
feel fully satisfied with the result of my labours. 

I have now in my possession the first evenly-marked and 
crested yellow Norwich canary 1 ever saw. I need hardly say 
that it has been under a glass shade for at least a quarter of 
a century. I bred it some six-and-twenty years ago, and at 
that time it created quite a sensation in the bird world. I 
have also one by the side of it which I bred some seven years 
ago, a bird that could win at this day, and the difference is 
very marked between them, and shows at a glance the wonderful 
improvements that have been achieved in the last twenty 
years towards perfecting this variety. 

The modern crested Norwich has been produced by crossing 
the original and true type of crested Norwich Canaries with 
the Lancashire Coppies ; and I believe I am not far from the 
truth when I say that the first attempt to introduce this 
cross, of course, in a surreptitious manner, was made at 
Northampton some eighteen years ago. Since the first intro- 
duction of the Coppy, which was done in a stealthy manner, 
breeders have become emboldened, and latterly no secret has 
been made of it, as judges instead of putting their veto upon 
it, have openly encoiiraged it, not only by awarding the whole 
of the prizes in the crested classes to birds of this type, but 
by lauding them when writing the accounts of the shows 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 315 

where they judged, and some going so far as to tell the 
fanciers that it was "a step in the right direction." Being 
thus encouraged, the breeders have gone on, step by step, 
introducing the Coppy from one generation to another, until 
some of the birds of the present day are so fully impreg- 
nated with that blood, that if it were not for the body 
markings and dark crests which Coppies never possess and 
the cayenne feeding it would be a difficult matter to dis- 
tinguish some of these birds from genuine Coppies. I have 
seen specimens, yea, and successful prize winners too, that 
in conformation of body ajid crest bore no resemblance what- 
ever to the real, true type, the original. Crested Norwich 
birds and the last-mentioned variety, however good they may 
be in all points, have no chance whatever of taking prizes 
when competing against this modern variety. The breeders 
in Norwich, however, have no just cause of complaint against 
this comparatively recent innovation, as they themselves were 
among the first to impart this foreign admixture into the 
old breed, and some, if not the very best specimens of this 
new variety have been produced in that town, although not 
necessarily exhibited by Norwich men. I have been behind 
the scenes, and know where most of the best birds came 
from that have been exhibited by different fanciers since 
their first introduction to the public. I am free to admit 
that I consider the cross an immense and beneficial improve- 
ment in many respects, but I certainly would like to see 
them distinguished by a more appropriate and fitting 
title, and I imagine that ere long they will come under the 
more apt and truthful designation of Marked or Variegated 
Coppies, or Lancashire and Norwich Union Crest, and it would 
doubtless be to the advantage of fanciers themselves if this 
were so, as no restraint would then be felt by either breeders 
or judges, and a still further improvement would doubtless 
be effected in their appearance and general contour. No one 
who is acquainted with the different varieties of these birds 
can doubt that the present appellation is entirely anomalous 
and utterly misleading. 

316 The Canary Book. 

To breed this variety successfully it is necessary to obtain 
Coppies of the very best type procurable, and cross them with 
Norwich birds of the best crested strains obtainable, but it will 
require years of judicious crossing to obtain birds as perfect a? 
can be found at the present day and in the hands of practica 
breeders only. Anyone desirour of experimenting on his own 
account I would recommend to begin with crested Norwich 
hens, and plain-headed Lancashire Coppy cocks, always being 
careful to choose the latter birds short in tail and massive in 
body, with well- developed craniums. The Norwich hens should 
be evenly-marked, or green birds from an evenly-marked strain ; 
be sure they are of good quality and type, and always procure 
them from well-known breeders, not exhibitors, in all cases, as 
most of these people purchase their show birds from other 
fanciers more successful and experienced than themselves. 
Always keep the heaviest-marked birds, the greens, and those 
with dark caps and wing markings, to cross into the Coppy 
blood again, as the latter variety, being bred for purity of 
colour for so many generations, have a great influence on 
the colour of the cross breeds, and birds with clear or 
grizzled crests are not nearly so valuable as the dark crested 

I am very particular myself about having birds from an 
evenly-marked strain to begin with. Though no one can 
breed these birds with regularity, I endeavour as far as I 
possibly can to retain this blood, and I get my share of 
evenly-marked young ones. 

I choose all my hens with great substance, and large broad 
heads, very full breasts, short legs and tails ; in fact, Nor- 
wich in shape, and Coppies in substance, a sort of condensed 
Coppy. When I get them as large as I can, full of Coppy 
blood and the Norwich Fancy shape of body, I breed them 
together, and invariably choose two marked birds, as this 
establishes the markings, increases the green colour, and in- 
tensifies it as well. The object is, in fact, to establish the 
points and markings already obtained. I do this for two 
generations and then dip into the Coppy blood again, always 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 317 

choosing those birds which show the best blending of the two 
varieties and the nearest to the Norwich birds in contour and 

It is astonishing to observe how these crosses sport at 
times, some taking after the Coppies, and others entirely 
after the Norwich varieties, whilst others show a happy 
blending of both. The latter are the birds which should be 
selected for further experiments. Eschew long tails, and 
long thin bodies ; all birds resembling the Yorkshire Fancy 
in shape should be discarded. 

I have sometimes bred three distinct types of birds from 

the same parents, and no one could have believed, excepting 

only those who know by experience, that these birds were 

.related, much less brothers and sisters, and reared in the 

same nest. 

I have had specimens that were more than half-bred 
Coppies, that no one could have distinguished from the pure 
Norwich breed, and others which would have passed for 
Coppies if they had been clear in colour, whilst the third 
would show the admixture of the two varieties thoroughly 
blended, and these are the birds that are most valuable. 

Some birds show it in only two ways, size of body and 
form of crest the true Norwich shape, and this is what 
breeders aim at. A true Norwich crest is broader at the 
back than it is at the front, and the best specimens are 
finished off at the back of the neck with a curtain or hood 
like a monk's cowl. Coppies never have this appendage, and 
most of the Coppy crosses are also destitute of this ornament, 
and have a round or elliptic crest which appears clean cut 
all round, and which is strongly indicative of Coppy blood. 
It is no uncommon occurrence for two birds from the same 
nest to be exhibited in the same class, the one to receive 
high honours and the other to be disqualified for showing 
" too much Coppy." Several instances of this kind are within 
my own personal knowledge, and I consider it the strongest 
argument that can be brought forward to show that the 
present designation of these birds is a misnomer. 

318 The Canary Book. 

A bird of this variety should be large in size, and should 
resemble the Norwich Fancy in shape, being full in the body 
and head, deep and broad in the chest, short in the legs, 
wide across the shoulders, and not too long in the tail. The 
crest, however, is by far the most important feature, and 
next to this, contour, colour, quality of feather, and con- 
dition. The crest should be round, oval, or shield-shaped, 
that is wider at the back than the front; the latter being 
the true Norwich type of crest. 

Some fanciers, as well as judges, prefer one kind and 
some another. All of them look well, provided they are properly 
formed, free from faults, and are well and artistically 
finished. I think, however, that those which are full and 
round in the front and square at the back with the cowl are 
the most telling, as they appear much larger than a round 
or oval crest finished close off at the back of the bird's head. 
A good crest of any form should be broad and long in the 
front, come well over the eyes, and drooping with regularity 
all round : some crests stand off and do not droop, and are 
in the form of a flat button ; this makes the crest look very 
wide. I do not despise a bird with a crest of this sort, if it 
is perfectly flat and well formed. 

Those who have had much experience in breeding crested 
birds must know that it is quite as difficult to get a good 
well-finished back crest as it is to get a long broad-frontal 
crest; hence, when a bird is possessed of both these quali- 
ties, it must be of greater value than a bird which possesses 
only one of them. For my part, I breed both kinds, and can, 
therefore, readily appreciate the difference. 

A bird shown by the Messrs. Mackley, of Norwich, in the 
year 1883, at Dudley (in the Evenly-marked class), where it 
obtained second prize, and at the Crystal Palace (in the 
Unevenly-marked class), where it obtained first prize, was a 
grand example of the type of crested birds I advocate, and 
unless he has been beaten since, is probably the best crested 
bird living, including every variety of crested Norwich canary. 
His crest is, in my opinion, simply perfection, and his back 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 319 

crest prodigious and exquisitely finished, and I consider it 
gives him an undoubted advantage over any bird not adorned 
with this appendage. 

To obtain size of body and profusion of feather, breeding 
with two buff birds is much resorted to; but this should be 
done with care and judgment, as it is apt to produce coarse- 
ness of feather both on the body and crest of birds. Others, 
again, to enlarge and improve the size and form of the crests, 
put two crested birds together, and if these are not properly 
matched, the result is either a large mop crest, without 
quality or proper form, or it may result in a sparsity of crest ; 
but when two crested birds are judiciously matched, a good 
crested bird may occasionally be bred in this way. If ever 
you breed from two crested birds, be sure to select two which 
are undoubtedly well bred and not deficient in crest properties, 
and keep the plain-heads bred in this way and put to crested 
birds again, as this is a sure method of improving and 
enlarging the crests; but this, too, must be done with care 
and caution, or you will obtain birds with faulty crests. 

A good crest must, in the first place, be adorned with a 
good centre, distinct but closely filled in all round, appearing 
like' the head of a small pin. It should be placed about the 
middle of the head of the bird, for, if placed too near the 
beak, it gives the appearance of a short and narrow frontal 
crest; and I have seen good birds spoiled through having the 
centre placed in this way, although it makes such birds 
show a greater profusion of lateral crest; but a properly 
balanced crest is unquestionably the most prized. From this 
centre the feathers should radiate in a uniform manner, and 
be placed as close as they can be packed without the slightest 
appearance of a break in any form. The crest should lie 
quite flat to the head of the bird, and appear smooth and 
unruffled. It should also be broad and expansive, thick and 
solid looking, with a good droDp, giving it something 
of the appearance of a mushrcom. A thin hairy looking 
crest is objectionable, however good it may be in other respects, 
and such crests are easily disarranged. 

320 The Canary Book. 

A flaw or opening in the front or at the side of a crest 
would be fatal to the chance of any bird on the show bench 
in good company ; but there are a class of exhibitors who 
can patch up and trim faulty crests in a wonderful manner, 
and this is practised by some of them to a great extent; the 
loose feathers that have an aggravating and defiant method of 
standing erect are cut off short, or if very few in number 
are occasionally plucked out. A system of grooming is likewise 
resorted to; the bird is caught regularly every morning, 
and he is toileted like a baby ; his crest is brushed with a soft 
tooth-brush, dipped in water when necessary, and if this 
operation does not succeed in bringing the stray and wayward 
feathers to subjection, a mixture is used in the final pre- 
paration before the bird is exhibited ; bandoline* is one of the 
compounds used, and a weak solution of gum and spirits of 
wine, diluted with water; gum arable or gum mastic are pre- 
ferred for this operation, but it must be used very weak, or 
it will be detected. It requires skill and practice to use 
these artifices properly; and I only mention them to put those 
unacquainted with such devices on their guard, as I have heard 
of amateurs claiming such "faked" birds at a show, and after 
moulting them, they could not understand how they had dete- 
riorated so much through, as they supposed, not getting a 
good moult. Such practices are not only highly reprehensible, 
but they are dishonest, and the perpetrators of them deserve 
to be exposed. As a safeguard against such birds being 
claimed, it is usual to place a fabulous price on them, but 
not in all cases. Those birds which need no grooming are 
much to be preferred; but high class birds of any variety, 
free from faults, are scarce, and consequently very costly. 
Good crested birds should be carefully handled, and not 
washed of tener than is absolutely necessary ; the same remark 
applies to all other show specimens, but more particularly to 
crested birds than most other varieties. Every care should 
be taken to preserve them from dust and smoke, and they 

* A preparation for the hair. 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 

should always be kept in single cages by themselves so long 
as they are required to be exhibited. 

One of the chief secrets of getting large crests is in 
obtaining a superabundance of feathers, and these should be 
long as well as profuse. 

In selecting birds to breed from, fanciers should examine 
them minutely before purchase, when this can be done, to 
see that they possess this property; pass one of your fingers 
over the head of the bird from back to front, turning over the 
feathers, and, if good, they should come down to nearly the 
end of the beak ; then blow the body feathers back ; if a bird 
is full of feather, you will have to blow hard before you can 
obtain a sight of the under body ; and if they are of good 
length as well as dense in quantity, that is what is required. 
As I have previously remarked, the quantity of feathers is 
greatly increased by breeding from two buff birds, instead of 
the recognised method of a buff and yellow; but when this 
is resorted to frequently, a coarseness of feather is produced, 
which is objectionable, and to counteract it, crossing with 
yellow birds is necessary. Yellow birds are never so full of 
feather as buff birds, and they are more silky in texture. 

All show birds containing the Coppy crosses ought to be fed 
with cayenne, or other ingredients, to influence the colour 
during their moult, as they suffer much in loss of colour 
through the Coppy crosses ; and high colour, next to a superb 
crest and contour, is the next thing to arrest the eye of a 
judge; and when you succeed in obtaining rich and brilliant 
colour in these birds, the judges are generally nonplussed 
and deceived as to the actual amount of Coppy present in 
the specimens. 

I object to an immoderate use of cayenne pepper, but other 
ingredients can be used for this purpose which are harmless 
in their action. See " The influence of various ingredients on 
the Colour of Canaries" (p. 135). 

When a bird is satisfactory in all other respects, but has a 
long "Coppy tail," it is the custom of some exhibitors to 
draw it out about a month before the date of the show to 


322 The Canary Book. 

which it has to be sent; it then appears with a three-parts 
grown tail, which completely hides the defect. 

An open badly filled-in centre is a great drawback to an 
otherwise good bird, and this is one of those faults for which 
no remedy can be discovered; but in order to prevent such a 
fault appearing conspicuous, some exhibitors have recourse to 
dye, a subterfuge which frequently deceives a judge ; and how 
few of these men there are who, when they do detect these 
fraudulent practices, have the moral courage to expose them, 
and more particularly so when the birds are the property 
of a professional exhibitor and these are invariably the 

The question may be asked How are the judges to know? 
Yery easily ; show cages tell tales ; and after a judge has had 
a bird through his hands at three or four different shows, it 
presents what they term " an old familiar face." 

The points for judging this variety should be the same as 
those given for adjudicating on the original variety of 
Norwich-Crested Canaries. 

The illustration is taken from my bird " Titan," and he is 
an excellent representative of a true Norwich- Crested Canary 
of the modern variety, fined down. 

In this year of grace, 1891, we have reached a climax in 
the breeding of this much esteemed variety. The old type of 
Crested Norwich has now entirely disappeared from the show 
bench, as it would in these days of " Giants " stand a meagre 
chance of success, for the modern type are such " monsters," as 
some of their admirers are pleased to term tho.m. The fact is, 
that the new variety is so thoroughly impregnated with Lanca- 
shire Coppy blood that there is a great deal more of the Lanca- 
shire in their composition than that of the Norwich, by which 
name they are still known ; but this I consider very unfair to the 
Lancashire breeders, and I hope some day that they will be 
known and recognised under the title of dark-crested Lan- 
cashires. I do not condemn the innovation of the Lancashire 
blood, as it has greatly improved the Norwich in many 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 323 

respects, and more particularly in the size and formation of 
the crest, which, after all, is doubtless the most distinguishing 
feature of this variety of canary, and has remedied many of 
the defects observable in the original Norwich birds, such as 
baldness at the back of the head, the result of too much 
in-breeding and double-crest breeding. It has also been the 
means of improving the shape of the crest; producing more 
round and oval crests. The old Norwich type were full and 
square in the back crest, whereas the Lancashire birds are 
deficient in this respect, biit they fairly surpass the Norwich 
birds in length and width of frontal and side crest owing to 
the great length of feather inherited from their ancestors, the 
old Dutch canary. Thus the cross has proved most beneficial 
and advantageous by blending the properties possessed by 
each variety. That this variety has been vastly improved is 
indicated by the fact that many modern specimens have realised 
nearly as many pounds each as the best specimens of the 
crested birds a quarter of a century ago would realise shillings. 
One of the best specimens of the day is the " Prince of Wales," 
a bird purchased by Messrs. Mackley Bros., of Norwich, from 
a breeder at Plymouth, for 20; others we could mention 
that have been sold for similar and even higher sums, such 
as 30, 35, and 40, and I know of one case where 50 was 
offered and refused for probably the best bird of his day, 60 
being asked for him. I, myself, offered Mr. G. E. Russell, of 
Brierley Hill, 30 for probably the best bird he ever possessed, 
and for which he paid, I believe, 20 to a firm in North- 
amptonshire. I have bred several birds that have realised 
5 and 10 each, and some of these, after winning prizes in 
first-class company, have been re-sold at much higher figures 
I enumerate these facts to show that the successful breeding 
of this variety is a source of profit as well as pleasure, but 
such birds are not bred every day not by the most successful 
of breeders neither can they always be obtained from the 
best-breeding stock procurable. I have known a pair of birds 
produce high-class specimens, and yet when -these birds were 
separated and mated with other birds equally well bred, the 

Y 2 

324 The Canary Book. 

offspring from both parents proved most disappointing, so 
that whenever you find a pair of birds produce young of a 
superior class, do not separate them; and in order to keep 
the blood pure breed them occasionally nearly allied, say, 
brother and sister, or uncle and niece, and so on. I also 
recommend fanciers who breed extraordinarily good birds, if 
they desire to keep up their name and fame as successful 
exhibitors, to keep the best of their specimens to breed from, 
and not to sell them even at " fancy " prices, for in the long 
run it will pay best to keep them, for good specimens can 
only be bred from typical parents as a rule. 

There is also a great deal depending on selection. Choose 
birds that possess the best points; you must have very stout 
full-bodied specimens, with wide big heads, thick necks, and a 
profusion of long feather, especially on the head, which, when 
turned back, should reach to the end of the bill, and with 
thick drooping eyebrows also; only you must not discard a 
really well-bred bird simply because it does not happen to 
inherit all these qualities. I have great faith in good blood, 
and I have known grand birds bred from hens that were 
undersized and rather small in head and body, but of un- 
doubted quality as regarded breeding; hens not at all such 
as I would have selected had I not known the strain. On 
the other hand, I have seen miserable specimens produced 
from birds possessing all the qualities I have named I refer, 
of course, to crested-bred plain-heads but which were not 
the produce of high-class parents ; so that it behoves an 
amateur to be careful in the selection of his breeding stock. 

My advice i& to keep your own plain-head hens, and buy 
crested cocks that have taken honours or prizes at the leading 
shows, and the more strains of high-class blood you can get 
into your birds the more reliable and profitable they will in 
time become, and the more certain you will be of producing 
typical specimens. The Lancashire fanciers are now very 
loath to part with their best birds. A few years ago some 
spirited breeders of the Crested- Norwich variety offered them 
tempting prices, and in many cases succeeded in obtaining 

The Modern Crested Norwich Canary. 

This bird has been produced by crossing the old type of Crested Norwich 
with the Lancashire Coppy. Size, form, colour, and droop of the crest are 
the principal points. 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 325 

their very best specimens, and the result is that the Lanca- 
shire birds have in many respects deteriorated, and some of 
the cross-breds, passing under the name of Crested-Norwich, 
could beat them on their merits on the show- bench in Lan- 
cashire points alone, and in a few cases I have known this 
done with clear crested birds. Another reason why the Lan- 
cashire birds have lost in size and fullness of body is that 
some of the most prominent breeders of these birds have 
introduced the modem variety of Crested- Norwich blood (clear 
crests, of course), to improve and enlarge the crest of this 
variety, and it is doubtful if, in so doing, they acted wisely. 
I think not. Neither do I think that the breeders of the 
modern Norwich have shown sufficient discretion in dipping 
so deeply into the blood of the Lancashire birds, foi ?* 
must be remembered that this variety is the produce of the 
old Dutch and Belgian birds, mixed with the blood of the 
common old-fashioned English canary, and as the Dutch and 
Belgian blood vastly predominates, the breed has inherited 
all the delicacy and weakness of constitution of the varieties 
named ; and in consequence of the unlimited admixture of 
this blood with Norwich crests, the modern Norwich has 
become much more delicate than birds of the old type, being 
subject to tuberculosis, asthma, and kindred complaints. 
Many fanciers who strive to keep in the front rank of suc- 
cessful exhibitors have found to their cost that it is rather 
an expensive " game " to keep up, for some birds costing 
large sums have not lived more than two or three years when 
exhibited regularly, and were bred from, as they speedily 
became affected with diseases of the lungs or liver and 
succumbed during that trying ordeal, the annual moult. 

It seems to me strange that this craze for size in body 
and crest should lead fanciers and judges alike to ignore 
other qualities which are most desirable in a perfect speci- 
men, such as even marking, rich colour, silky feathers, and 
above all robust health; all these might be attained in time 
with judicious breeding and care ; but in order to do this, 
some limit as to length should be agreed upon, and I think 

326 The Canary Book. 

that in time a model bird, possessing the much admired 
substance of body, and with a crest that nothing could excel, 
might be produced in a bird limited to a length of 6^in. ; 
and to obtain a bird up to this standard, it would have to 
possess at least one-half of Coppy blood, for this is the 
medium of length between the original Crested-Norwich and 
the Lancashire bird. 

Size is certainly a fundamental property, but with it you 
require refined shape, and either a clear body or evenly- 
marked wings, rich colour, sound soft silky feather, a nice 
carriage, a lively gait, and a general healthy appearance. 
Then the crest should be round or oval, the centre should 
be well set, close, and well filled in all round; the frontal 
crest should be broad and semi-circular, and come well over 
the beak ; the side crest should be full and descend below 
the eyes ; the back crest should be profuse and come well 
over the hind part of the head, and be neatly rounded off 
at the extreme base of the skull, or it may extend a short 
way down the neck, but should lie close and flat all over. 
There should be no upstanding wayward feathers in a perfect 
show bird, every feather should be smooth, close fitting, and 
firm, and with as much density as possible, so that it cannot 
easily be disarranged; and in addition to these qualifications 
you want a short beak, a thing difficult to obtain. A large 
bill is a great detriment to an otherwise good bird, and 
makes the frontal crest appear shorter than it actually is. 

A bird possessing all these qualities would indeed be a rara 
avis, and few birds, even among the chief prize takers, can 
boast of three-fourths of them; but some excel in one feature 
and some in another, and hence the art, and science, and 
pleasure lies in the successful endeavour to create by skilful 
and judicious crossing, a bird as near the standard of perfec- 
tion as it is possible to obtain. I have noticed that some 
large-crested prize-winners have been wide in the back crest, 
and narrow at the front, and others in the opposite direction, 
not well balanced, even, and regular; and in the same class 
might be observed a bird with a beautiful round or oval crest. 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 327 

of good shape and quality, but not profuse, that would be 
passed by or receive a simple H.C. or V.H.C. card. This is 
too bad, and ought not to be. I have frequently been struck 
in looking over the prize-winners at a show to find how widely 
divergent in type and quality the first, second, and third prize- 
winners often are, even in the same class, and I have heard 
young fanciers say, " How are we to know what to breed to 
when the judges themselves don't seem to know?" and I 
think they were quite justified in their remarks. This some- 
times happens for want of an extended classification, which, I 
think, in the case of crested birds, might be made at many 
shows with beneficial results. There ought to be a class for 
clear bodies and dark crests, another for evenly-marked and 
crested, a third for unevenly-marked and crested, and a fourth 
for any other variety of crest. At all shows this could not 
be expected, but it might be carried out at the largest and 
best of them, and I think it would be a means of preventing 
degeneracy in quality and type. If things continue as they 
have of late the present title of Norwich will have to be modi- 
fied or altered, in which case I would suggest that the word 
Norwich be expunged, and that the following classification be 
substituted : Dark-crested canary (clear body) ; evenly-marked 
and crested canary ; unevenly-marked and crested canary ; 
any other variety of crested canary. This arrangement 
would clear the way for amateurs, and give breeders the oppor- 
tunity of gratifying their various humours as to size, type, &c., 
and the judges would hold a free hand to deal with them as 
they think proper. I am, of course, opposed to such a change, 
but I think it high time something was done one way or the 

I have frequently been amused to find a bird entered in an 
" Any other variety class " as a " First cross Coppy and Norwich," 
whereas at the same show there have been birds, and some 
of them prize winners, exhibited in the Norwich classes, that 
were fully three-parts bred Coppies. It is too funny to con- 
template, far too funny, by half. Open the gates by all means, 
if fanciers cannot agree to a standard type, and let the birds 

328 The Canary Book. 

be classified as I have suggested, and in a few years the 
difficulties at present experienced will solve themselves, and I 
have no doubt in the manner first suggested. 

In moulting crested birds for the show bench, artificial heat 
is an essential, and it should be applied botli internally and 
externally, in order to -fully develop the crest properties. By 
internally, I mean by cayenne feeding, and by externally, to 
being moulted in a room at a temperature of not less than 
60 deg., nor more than 70 deg. 

Where the Lancashire cross is freely used it is of import- 
ance to breed from green or heavily variegated birds on one 
side, otherwise grey or clear crests will predominate, and they 
are of much less intrinsic value than dark ones, however good 
they may be in size and quality. 

In mixing up two varieties of birds, such as the Norwich 
and Lancashire varieties, where many of the chief features 
are widely divergent, such as type, colour, and feather, to 
create an improved breed there are always a number of 
difficulties to be overcome, and it takes a long time to dis- 
cover where the improvements are to be continued or diver- 
sified to suit the classification at shows and the views of 
particular judges. An occasional cross with double crests is 
believed by many to be a good method of increasing 1 the size 
and fullness of the crests, but it has so many drawbacks 
that I do not as a rule advocate it. 

Too many mop crests result, and some of them stand up 
as defiantly as the quills on an enraged porcupine, and to 
breed this out you must have recourse to plain-head blood, 
so that the supposed advantages to be gained are somewhat 
problematical in cases of this sort. Occasionally a good result 
is obtained, but this is only the exception and not the rule. 
I prefer to use plain-heads bred from two crested birds ; 
these are undoubtedly an acquisition for breeding purposes. 

If you desire to breed high-class birds of this kind you 
must be very particular about the plain-heads; the crested 
birds there is no difficulty about, for good crests are not 
produced from inferior birds. There is a great outcry for 

The Modern Crested Norwich. 329 

birds with broad skulls and plenty of feather, but you must 
have the right sort of blood as well. I have bred some 
splendid birds from hens of medium size, and some with 
rather small heads, but I knew that they possessed the blood 
of several prize winners. I certainly like length of feather 
on the head, and good drooping eye-brows are indicative of 
high breeding, but I am not such a stickler for long body 
feather as some fanciers are; at the same time I like dense 
feathering of the body. Some of the best crested birds I 
have ever seen were produced from parents with medium 
length of body feathers and long dense head coverings; 
whilst some of the worst crested birds I have bred were the pro- 
duce of birds with immense body feather, both long and profuse, 
so that there is no golden rule to be followed on these lines 
alone. Blood, gentlemen, blood ! Nothing tells like it, whether 
in breeding birds or animals, and unless you can get the 
right strains to breed from, all your efforts will result in 
nought. I not only recommend the best - known strains to 
breed from, but good specimens must likewise be obtained. 
To ensure success this rule must be closely followed. Moral: 
Never dispose of your best birds whatever the temptation 
may be. 

This rule rigorously carried out was the secret of the suc- 
cess of Robert Ritchie, of .Darlington, who for years carried 
all before him in the Lizard classes, and only when illness 
and misfortune overtook him, and he let his best birds go, 
did he lose his position as a successful exhibitor. 

It is customary before pairing crested birds to cut the 
crest and tail feathers short, and to thin the long feathers 
which surround the vent. I think it a commendable prac- 
tice to cut the crests of show birds as soon as the show 
season is over in order to preserve the sight, as I am certain 
that long side crests, covering the eyes, is the cause of birds 
losing their sight from cataract. 

A really good crest cannot be covered by a florin, and it 
should be of deep sound colour, with a blackish-green margin, 
a,nd a black mid-rib, commonly known as a veined crest. 

33 The Canary Book. 

Breeders should avoid birds with faulty - shaped crests to 
breed from, and those with narrow or short f rentals and 
peaked backed crests, split sides, fronts twisted and warped, 
and curled backs, and more particularly rough mop crests. 

The standard for judging the present breed of Crested- 
Norwich I would place as follows: 


Crest, for form, size, centre, colour, and droop 55 

Size of bird 15 

Feather 10 

Type, contour, and condition 20 

Total... .. 100 

The Lizard Canary. 

The bird from which this illustration was drawn won high honours in the 
Exhibition World in its day, and is an excellent example of the variety. 



THIS very beautiful and unique variety of canary stands pre- 
eminent, in the estimation of nearly all true fanciers, among 
what may be considered the real English Fancy canaries. There 
is no means of tracing the origin of these birds, but they have 
been known and esteemed among fanciers in this country for a 
great many years, and I think there is little doubt that they are 
the real source from which some other known varieties have 
been derived. They are great favourites in some of the midland 
and northern counties of England, especially Lancashire and 
Nottinghamshire; and it is in these counties that the best 
specimens are usually bred, although the county of Durham has, 
within the past few years, produced specimens which have 
successfully competed against all comers. 

TRIMMING. Lizard canaries are more frequently tampered 
with than any other variety by unprincipled exhibitors, hence it 
behoves judges to exercise their utmost vigilance and circum- 
spection in judging these' birds. A bald face is artificially 
coloured, sometimes very dexterously ; a small cap is enlarged 
and enriched in colour by the use of a Judson's dye or a strong 
solution of saffron; white flight or tail feathers are extracted, 
and corresponding but dark feathers, drawn from other birds, 
are cleverly substituted for them ; the tweezers are frequently 
brought into requisition to remove some tiny dark feathers from 
the cap, and uhen the pinion covers are intermixed with white, 
the white feathers are skilfully clipped close off, and the legs 

332 The Canary Book. 

and bills are often stained black ; in fact, every Lizard sent to 
compete at an exhibition should be handled and minutely 
examined all over by the judge. If a wing or tail feather pro- 
jects beyond the natural line, or falls short of it, examine it 
most particularly, for it is a suspicious circumstance; and be 
sure to see that none of the feathers have been cut or trimmed. 
When a judge discovers a bird that has been fraudulently tam- 
pered with, he should make the fact public, despite any entreaties 
that may be urged against his doing so. Those fanciers who 
are mean enough to perpetrate such barefaced deception cannot 
be too severely censured and condemned. 

SHOW PLUMAGE. Young Lizards in their nest feathers are 
devoid of spangles ; but when they moult these are produced, 
and, when fully moulted, they are in full show plumage, and not 
afterwards. Every time a Lizard moults it becomes paler in 
colour, in the wings especially, and the colour sometimes runs. 
Particularly is this the case if a bird is out of health at the 
time of moulting. Lizards are known among Scotchmen as 
" macaronies." 

BREEDING. In order to breed high-class birds of this variety, 
the greatest care and discrimination are necessary in the selec- 
tion of your stock birds. Quality is the first thing to be 
considered. See that the birds you select are of the correct 
ground colour, for this is an essential point to begin with; 
that of a Golden Spangled Lizard should be of a deep, rich, 
velvety, greenish-golden, bronze colour, and the surface of the 
feathers should be entirely pervaded with a silvery, greyish 
luminosity, that adds richness to the colour, and is a sure sign 
of quality. Avoid all shades of hard greens, and smudginess 
or dinginess of hue, as this denotes bad blood. In the Silver 
Spangled birds the ground colour should be a deep, greyish, 
silver green, with a slight tinge of golden yellow, and the 
bright silvery luminous shading of the upper surface should 
be more marked and conspicuous in this variety than in the 
Golden birds. Your next consideration is spangle, as no Lizard 
is of any value that fails in this respect, and moreover the 
spangling should be decided, clear, and distinct, and not broken 

The Lizard. 333 

or variegated in form. I admire a bird with a profusion of 
close, fine spangling about the neck, giving it the appearance 
of having a superbly and delicately worked lace collar, or a 
collar of superfine network, and as the spangling descends 
it should become more open and enlarged, and form a series 
of distinctive half-moons round the edges of the larger 
feathers. It should appear in long uniform stripes down 
the back of the bird, and perfectly regular in order. 
Always select large birds when obtainable, birds with wide 
skulls, broad backs, and full prominent breasts, but on no 
account must size supersede quality. The advantage gained by 
a good big bird is, that it shows the spangling and cap to 
much greater advantage than a smaller specimen. 1ST ever breed 
from bald-faced birds, that is, birds that show clear-coloured 
feathers below the eye and at the root of the beak, nor from 
birds that have white feathers on the wings or tail, as these 
faults would be propagated in the offspring. A good broad 
well-formed cap is an essential point in a Lizard, but it 
frequently happens that the best capped birds are deficient in 
spangling, and vice versa ; therefore, I recommend a bird with 
a well-formed full cap, and not too profuse in spangles, to be 
mated with a bird of the opposite sex that is rich and full of 
" work," as spangling is termed, and whose cap may be small 
and even " broken ; " but I do not advocate breeding from 
"broken" capped birds, unless they are highly meritorious in 
all other respects. It is equally objectionable to mate two 
over-capped birds, but to put an over-capped bird that is, 
when the cap runs partly down the neck with a bird that is 
slightly under-capped, short, and barely reaching to the base 
of the skull, is frequently attended with excellent results. 
Never put two birds to breed that are both " under-capped," 
as it has a tendency to circumscribe this valuable appendage. 
I once bred a magnificently spangled Lizard in this way, but 
it was entirely destitute of a cap. I put it with an over- 
capped bird the following year, and from this pair I reared 
some wonderful youngsters. It is customary to mate a Gold 
and Silver bird together, but to increase the size and stamina 

334 The Canary Book. 

and to improve the spangling it is advisable occasionally to 
put two Silvers together, but this must not be overdone, or 
the spangling will run together and give a hazy appearance, 
and the ground colour will become too grey and pale. Put a 
good, sound Golden cock, deep, rich, and mellow in colour, 
to a superior light grey hen, or vice versa, and when you 
obtain young birds pretty nearly perfect in cap, spangles, &c., 
mate the most perfect of them together, brother and sister, or 
uncle and niece, or even father and daughter, or son and 
mother, as this will greatly aid you in establishing the proper 
type, and preserving the most salient features. Then you 
must have recourse to fresh blood, selecting birds similar in 
type, &c., to those you have bred. Of course, where you 
breed a lot for the purpose of exhibiting, you will have 
several pairs in no way related to each other, so that you 
will have no difficulty in following out the rule laid down, 
for no man can expect to compete with success that only 
breeds from two or three pairs. Continue to breed on the 
same plan with regard to selection, and every third year 
full cousins may be mated together to keep the blood pure. 
If this method is followed up, discarding all faulty specimens, 
in a few years you will be in possession of a strain of Lizards 
that will breed prize birds with regularity and certainty. 

Do not put two birds together that are both dark in the 
ground colours or you will lose in spangling, as it would 
become short and indistinct. A Gold cock put to a hen bred 
from Double Silvers, if both are carefully selected, will often 
produce the best show birds. Splendid Silver birds are often 
bred from a hen the produce of two Gold birds and a good 
Silver cock. I do not care for Lizards being too black in 
the legs and claws, as it is generally a sign that there is 
too much green colour in the blood; it is also considered a 
fault to have birds too pale or flesh coloured in the legs or 
claws, although I have seen some grand Lizards with flesh- 
coloured legs. I prefer a medium between the two. 

Where there is too much green in a strain, the colour and 
feathers are harsh and unpleasant to the sight. Birds with 

The Lizard. 335 

red legs are usually very rich and pure in the ground colour, 
and clear and well defined in spangling, but they are apt 
occasionally to throw youngsters with a white feather in the 
tail or wings, which is very undesirable. Lizards as a rule 
are quarrelsome and mischievous, especially the males, and 
cocks of this description should be removed from beside the 
hens during the period of incubation, or they will probably 
destroy the eggs or harass the hens until the eggs are addled. 
I have known one very successful exhibitor, who introduced a 
cross of the London Fancy among his Lizards, crossing and 
re-crossing the produce with Lizards again and again for 
several years, until his birds attained a very high position as 
prize winners, and at one time he was almost invincible on 
the show bench. This cross is said to improve the cap and 
spangles. A London Fancy should be selected with a good 
skull and cap, and if possible a bird with some vigour of 
body ; it should be paired with a large strong Lizard, and 
one deficient to some extent in spangles. In three years, if 
the produce of the first cross is bred-in with good Lizards, 
selected with judgment, a marked improvement in the chief 
characteristics of the birds will be observable, but the result 
will depend greatly on the birds selected for this purpose. 

The greatest care is needed to prevent the parent birds 
from plucking their young, as those which have the misfor- 
tune to get plucked never make such satisfactory show birds 
as those which are fortunate enough to escape the misfor- 
tune, and if a tail or a flight feather is withdrawn it is 
reproduced with a spangle, which counts against the exhibit, 
If the parents are observed to indulge in this vicious practice 
it will be best to remove the young birds to a small cage, 
which can be fixed to the front of the breeding cage, and 
so arranged that the parents can feed their progeny through 
the wires. If the breeding cage is wired at the ends as 
well as the front, it will be found best to fix the cage 
containing the young birds to one end instead of the front. 

Lizard canaries are very difficult to breed sufficiently good 
in all points for exhibition purposes, and ^ they occasionally 

336 The Canary Book. 

breed young birds with foul feathers white feathers among 
their pinion coverlets, or in their wings or tails. "When these 
appear at the shoulder blades or pinions, the bird is called 
"shelly shouldered," meaning that it resembles a chaffinch, 
which is often called by bird-catchers the "shell apple"; 
and this is considered, as it unquestionably is, a great 
blemish ; but clear flight or tail feathers are the most detri- 
mental of . all, and those fanciers who pride themselves upon 
breeding good Lizards invariably give all such ill-favoured 
progeny their quietus ere they number many days in the 
calendar of life. "Were it not that this practice savours 
strongly of wanton cruelty I would have endorsed it, as I 
verily believe that it is the only method of effectually 
stamping out all remnants of impure blood. 

CLASSES. There are two varieties of these birds, viz., yellows 
and buffs (jonques and mealies), or, as they are more frequently 
designated, golden-spangled and silver-spangled Lizards. These 
are divided into four classes as follows: Golden-spangled 
Lizards, silver- spangled Lizards, golden- spangled Lizards with 
broken caps, and silver-spangled Lizards with broken caps. 

Thirty years ago and upwards there was a breed of Lizards 
known among fanciers by the name of " Blue Lizards." I 
have never seen but three of those magnificent birds, which 
I bought. It is twenty-seven or twenty-eight years since the 
last of these died, and I have never been able to procure 
another specimen of them, although I have used every effort 
to do so. I have been told by several very old fanciers that 
they were plentiful enough fifty or sixty years ago; now 
they appear to be quite extinct. What a pity ! They were 
totally different from the silver Lizards of the present day. 
The ground colour of these birds was a beautiful, soft bluish 
grey, but decidedly blue in tint, and the spangles were par- 
ticularly well defined and clear, and as white as newly-molten 
silver. I consider they were by far the handsomest of all the 
Lizard varieties. 

POINTS. The golden- spangled Lizard should be in its ground 
or body colour a deep rich golden bronze green or fine old moss 

The Lizard 337 

green, quite neutral in tint, and soft and somewhat velvety in 
appearance, with the green so subdued and blended with yellow, 
&c., as to lose that hard, harsh vividness, so peculiar to bad 
specimens of this variety. In fact, the ground colour of a good 
Lizard is somewhat difficult to describe accurately, and to 
imitate it correctly would require a combination of various 
colours in different proportions, such as green, yellow, sienna, 
umber, and black, with a slight tinge of red and blue, and it 
would probably prove a task of no mean difficulty to a practical 
and accomplished artist to represent it faithfully. 

The silver Lizards are much lighter or greyer in colour than 
the golden birds ; in other respects they should resemble each 
other very closely. The latter, however, are considered the 
greatest favourites with fanciers, and when good specimens 
and in fine condition they are most exquisitely beautiful, 
although it very frequently happens that the best capped birds 
are most deficient in spangles, and vice versa. 

The cap of a prize bird ought to be elliptic in form, and 
should commence at the top of the base of the upper mandible, 
and extend in a parallel line immediately over the top of each 
eye, leaving a slight mark above the eye like a pencil line, or 
slight eyebrow, and should terminate at the base of the skull. 
It is a most difficult matter to breed a Lizard with a perfect 
cap, or even an approximation to one. Some birds are over- 
capped, whilst others are considerably under-capped. Both are 
faults; but an over-capped bird, provided the cap does not 
extend too far below the line, is preferable to an under-capped 
bird. Some caps run in a line with the lower instead of the 
upper part of the upper mandible, and descend below the eye. 
This is a grave fault : and all birds possessing caps of this 
description are only fit for stock purposes. When the cap is 
formed from the lower portion of the bill, it makes the bird 
appear to have a white face ; and a bird thus disfigured is termed 
"bald-faced." With the exception of white feathers in the 
wings and tail, this is probably one of the greatest defects a 
bird of this variety can possess. The cap is one of the essential 
qualifications in a good Lizard. 

338 The Canary Book. 

The flight and tail feathers of a Lizard, whether golden or 
silver spangled, should be black, as also the wing and tail 
coverts ; and the more intense and brilliant they are the more 
valuable is the bird. But these feathers are all more or 
less fringed at the extreme outer edges with a golden or 
silvery hue, according to the variety of the bird; but neither 
the tail nor the flight feathers in the wings should be spangled 
in a show specimen. A bird may by accident shed a wing 
or tail feather, which they frequently do; and when they 
are reproduced they show the "half moon;" but this can 
in no wise be regarded as a disqualification, although it may 
to some extent be looked upon as a detraction, and might 
be considered as such in the event of two birds proving 
of equal merit in all other points. The throat, breast, sides 
of neck, belly, and vent of the bird should be as uniform 
in colour throughout as possible. Some birds are much 
lighter in colour at the sides of the belly near the thighs 
than they are on the breast, &c. This is a defect. The 
breast of a good bird is regularly spangled, although the 
spangles are so delicate that it requires a strong side light 
to see them distinctly. Some birds and good birds, too 
are striped with a darker shade of colour down the breast, 
but the less these stripes are observable the better. From the 
termination of the cap at the back of the head to the end of 
the saddle feathers the ground colour should be uniform, but 
darker than the breast and belly, as these feathers are 
shaded with bla&c, and each of them should be clearly 
"mooned" or spangled round the end or bottom with yellow or 
buff (gold or silver), and the more distinct and well-defined 
these spangles are the more is the value of the bird enhanced. 
As the feathers upon the neck of a bird are much smaller 
in proportion to those which cover the back, the spangles, 
as a natural sequence, are much closer, and consequently 
they appear more numerous than they do upon the back of 
the bird, where the feathers are larger and the spangles 
more distinct. This gives the bird an appearance of being 
lighter in colour round the neck or collar, more especially in 
a silver-spangled bird, and. instead of being, as might be 

The Lizard. 339 

supposed, a drawback, it adds greatly to its beauty, and is 
indicative of very high breeding and superior quality. The 
spangling should not be broken up or laced, but ought to appear 
perfectly distinct throughout, both in form and finish, and this 
is one of the greatest points of beauty and attraction in the 
Lizard canary. Over the body feathers there appears, in the 
golden-spangled Lizards, a sort of subdued golden shade or 
light, called by some fanciers the "crine," and in the silver- 
spangled birds it is of a fine silvery-grey hue, and adds 
much to their beauty; some birds are quite destitute of 
this luminosity a sure indication of coarse breeding or bad 

The legs, feet, and bills are considered by most fanciers to 
look best when dark, but, for my part, I attach very little 
importance to this feature, and I regard it only as a secondary 
consideration, as I have almost invariably noticed that such 
birds as possess it naturally (for in too many cases it is 
artificially produced) are too green in their ground colour and 
the ground colour is a speciality which ought to be regarded 
as a sine qua non in an exhibition bird. The two most beau- 
tiful and perfect specimens of this variety of bird I ever saw 
had red or flesh-coloured legs and feet; in all other respects 
they were the nearest approximation to perfection that could 
be imagined. 

The Lizard canaries are from 4f in. to 5in. in length upon an 
average. The head should be rather large than otherwise, with 
an abundance of width between the eyes, and flattish on the 
crown; the beak rather stout and short; the neck thick, and 
inclined to be short rather than long; the breast broad, 
round, and full; the shoulders broad; the back wide, slightly 
curved outwardly; the tail should hang obtusely from the 
body; the ends of the wings should rest upon the base of 
the tail ; the legs should be somewhat short ; and the carriage 
of the bird easy, graceful, and semi-erect. The cap, colour, 
"crine" and spangling are the chief characteristics in birds of 
this variety. 

STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE. The following is the standard, 
100 points representing perfection: 

z 2 

340 The Canary Book. 



Head and cap 20 

Spangles 20 

Groundcolour 15 

"Crine," or luminosity and quality 8 

Size 7 

Condition , .. 7 

Contour and carriage 6 

Feathers, for quality and closeness 6 

Wings and tail, for blackness in hue 6 

Legs and feet 5 

Total loo 

The head must be full, broad, and flattish on the crown ; the 
cap oval, clear, rich in colour, and well formed, and must not 
come below the eye; it ought to terminate in front at the top 
of the bill, and at the back at the base of the skull. The 
spangles must be clear, regular, and well defined. The colour 
must be rich, soft, and mellow, level throughout, and quite free 
from any decidedly green tinge. 

TYPE. The bird from which our illustration was taken was 
the property of Mr. T. W. Fairbrass, of Canterbury. It stood 
first in a class of fifteen at the Crystal Palace Show at 
Sydenham (1875), the majority of which had been successful 
competitors at other shows. He won with the mast con- 
summate ease, being vastly superior in all respects to any 
of his antagonists, and a thorough champion all over, his 
colour, cap, contour, and spangling being exquisitely grand, 
and almost perfect; the greatest fault observable was that 
he was rather too much striped down the sides of the abdomen. 
Mr. Fairbrass is probably one of the oldest and most ex- 
tensive breeders of this greatly admired variety of canaries 
living, and a pretty successful exhibitor as well. Several 
prize winners in previous years have been bred from birds 
procured from his aviary by other fanciers. One of the most 
successful breeders and exhibitors of these birds is Mr. Robert 
Ritchie, of Darlington. 

(First Prize Crystal Palace Show, 1899. Owner, Mr. T. Stokes.) 



BREEDERS. These birds are rare, handsome, and costly, and 
somewhat tender and delicate in their constitutions. They 
are great favourites with many of the London Fanciers, but 
owing to their want of stamina and vigour, combined with 
the exhorbitant prices that are demanded for good specimens, 
they are not very popular with the " fancy " at large. Indeed, 
this breed at the present time moj be considered as being in 
the hands of a select few. Mr. W. Brodrick, of Chudleigh ; 
Mr. James Waller, of Londoii, zrad. Mr. Thomas Clark, of 
Sutton, in Surrey, are probably the chief and most successful 
breeders extant. 

ORIGIN. Although many of the admirers of this variety of 
canary regard them as a distinct breed, I am decidedly of 
opinion that they have originated from the Lizard canaries, 
and I know that a great number of thoroughly practical 
and experienced fanciers entertain the same idea as myself. 
Having propounded a theory, it is only right that I should 
give some reason for so doing. The title " London Fancy " 
implies that the breed is peculiar to, or originated in London, 
in the same manner as the "Norwich Fancy" doubtless had its 
origin in the town of Norwich, the " Scotch Fancy " in Scotland, 

* It is said that the London Fancy canary was first cultivated by the French 
Protestant refugee silk weavers, who came to London about two centuries aj*o, 
and that they were bred by them exclusively in Spitaltields for many years. 
1 made every possible inquiry in my power on this point as to their origin, from 
Jas. Waller arid others, some thirty-two or thirty-three years ago, but I was 
unable at that time to glean anything worthy of note respecting it. 

342 The Canary Book. 

and the "Yorkshire Fancy" in Yorkshire; and the bird not 
being indigenous, must necessarily have been manufactured. 
Indeed, it is a well-known fact that the latter varieties are 
produced by cross breeding, that is to say, by matching two or 
more distinct varieties together, and thereby producing a new 
variety. Some people do not like the idea that any of their pets 
should be considered mongrels ; but I contend that when once a 
variety is established whose individuality is so marked and 
distinguishable by certain peculiarities, and which can be repro- 
duced at pleasure, that it is no longer deserving of the term 
mongrel ; and I further contend that to produce a new variety 
of any kind, whether it be in dogs, pigeons, poultry, or canaries, 
is to bring about a result indicative of the highest art or science 
of breeding, and, therefore, is more worthy of commendation 
than condemnation. If my first proposition is conceded, I do 
not think that anyone will doubt that the Lizard canary is the 
most prominent cross to be found in these birds, as it is well 
known that a young London Fancy in its nest feather, if a good 
specimen, so closely resembles the young of the Lizards that 
none other than really experienced fanciers can distinguish the 
one variety from the other ; in fact, I have had young Lizards in 
one cage and young London Fancies in another adjoining, and I 
have known many men who have bred canaries for several years, 
who were totally unable to say which were which. Another 
reason in support of my supposition that the London Fancy 
canaries have in the first instance been artificially produced is 
that the young birds vary very much in plumage in their nest 
feather, some being all dark except the cap, whilst others are 
often pied like a common variegated canary ; these specimens 
are produced in the same nest, and you require to breed a goodly 
number ere you succeed in getting two or three birds sufficiently 
perfect to show, and that exclusive of all accidents. In further 
support of my theory, I will quote a few facts within my own 
knowledge, and which have tended greatly to confirm me in my 

I once put a Lizard canary and a London Fancy together,- 
the produce of this cross resembled bad Lizards. The next 

The London Fancy. 343 

season I matched one of these birds with a clear Norwich canary; 
the result of this cross was, to all intents and purposes, well- 
bred Norwich canaries, but all were more or less marked two 
slightly, whilst the third, a hen, was a beautiful buff, with evenly- 
marked wings and clear tail, no eye markings. I showed her in 
an evenly-marked Norwich class twice, and she was very highly 
commended at one show and third prize at the other. When she 
moulted the next season her wing-markings disappeared, leaving 
nothing beyond a grizzly trace of their former loveliness. I 
coupled this hen with a ticked Norwich cock, and several of 
their produce were marked about the head and neck, but on 
moulting the marks vanished almost entirely. The colour of 
the young birds from the last cross was remarkable for its 
depth and richness of hue. I mention this circumstance to 
show that the markings in these birds disappeared in the same 
manner as the dark feathers do in the London Fancy variety, 
and were changed for a clear, or almost clear plumage. 

An acquaintance of mine, several years ago, bred a nest of 
young birds between a London Fancy and a Lizard canary; 
the offspring of this cross he mated, one with a London Fancy 
and the other two with Lizards. He continued his experiments 
for four or five years, putting those bred from the Lizard cross 
with Lizards again, and those from the London Fancy cross 
with that breed again, so that in the end no trace of the cross 
breeding was discernible on either side ; in fact, he always 
contended that it greatly improved both breeds. I am not so 
sure about the Lizards, although I know that some of the birds 
so bred distinguished themselves at some of our best shows ; to 
my thinking, they were too light in body colour, and the 
spangling not so regular and fine in finish as a good Lizard 
ought to be. Another fact in confirmation of my theory, and I 
have done. I once purchased a good yellow Lizard cock from 
a noted breeder of these birds ; he was about eighteen months 
old when I got him, and in fine feather. I bred from him 
several years in succession, and had him until he was eight 
years old, when he died ; every time this bird moulted he 
became lighter and clearer in colour, until, at the age of seven 

344 The Canary Book. 

years, he could hardly have been distinguished from a London 
Fancy bird at the age of six years; his ground colour was 
almost clear, and he looked as if he had been slightly dredged 
over with black pepper. These facts, I submit, speak volumes 
in support of the idea I entertain in regard to the origin of 
this wonderful and elegant variety of canary the true London 
Fancy. No doubt it required years of study and judicious 
crossing to bring them to perfection. 

Were I a regular breeder of this variety of birds, I would not 
hesitate to cross them with a Lizard canary occasionally, say, 
once in five or seven years ; if this is not done, I am afraid that 
the days of these lovely gems are numbered, and that they 
will soon become extinct, for already the in-and-in breeding is 
telling with painful effect upon their constitutions; in fact, to 
quote the exact words of an old fancier, addressed to me, in 
reference to that variety, not long ago, "I would not bother 
with them; they are all as rotten as blown pears" (from in- 
and-in breeding). 

On July 19th, 1889, an illustration of a bird of this variety was 
given in a London journal, Poultry, and a very good and even 
elegant specimen it was ; and singular to relate, the bird figured 
had been bred from a pair of well-bred Lizard canaries, by 
Mr. J. Green, of Leigh, in Lancashire. The father was a Golden 
spangled bird, the winner of a first prize in a large class at 
Manchester, and from a thoroughly reliable strain of well-bred 
Lizards. The mother was a Silver, bred from a celebrated 
pure strain. This incident goes far to corroborate my theory- 
for I think I was the first to propound it in the first edition 
of this work that the London Fancy is an off-shoot from the 
Lizard canary. I said that I thought the London Fancy canary 
was bred between the Lizard and Norwich Fancy canary, 
or between a Lizard and a Cinnamon variegated bird. J 
am morally certain that it was originally produced by one 
or other of these crosses, and this, no doubt, will account in 
a great measure for the difficulty that has always been ex- 
perienced since I can remember them, for a period of thirty- 
six years at least in obtaining specimens free from patches of 

The London Fancy. 345 

body colour and frizzly markings after moulting ; whereas in a 
good specimen, only the flight feathers of the wings and tail 
should have remained black or dark in colour. In con- 
sequence of the rarity and high price of these birds, and the 
difficulties experienced in breeding specimens fit for show, 
and the trouble required to keep them in show feather, 
I have never felt much interest personally in them, con- 
sequently I have not experimented with them as I usually 
do to prove my theories. 

More than thirty years ago, I used to pay visits, at in- 
tervals, to Mr. J. Waller, a fancier and breeder of these 
birds, who, at that time, resided at Tabernacle Walk, Finsbury 
Square, London; but it was very rare even for him to breed 
anything approaching to a high-class specimen, although he 
put up from ten to fifteen pairs annually. Another reason 
why I felt no partiality for the London Fancy canary was, 
that they were so small and puny, so sickly and delicate 
looking, owing to their being so sib-bred as the breed then 
was limited to a few fanciers all the birds being as 
nearly related as possible, and no new blood obtainable. 
They were loose in feather, asthmatical, and short lived, 
a breed with many faults and few redeeming features. I 
regret now that I did not try some experiments to resuscitate 
this breed, for I feel sure it could have been done in a few 
years, and probably some of the prevailing faults might 
have been overcome, and the variety much improved in most 

NEST FEATHER BIRDS. London Fancy canaries in their first 
or nest feathers should resemble very closely the young of the 
Lizard canaries ; they should appear dark all over, except their 
caps, which should be clear, but very few of them reach this 
criterion of excellence, many of them appearing irregularly 
marked or pied, but in any case the tail and the larger or flying 
feathers of the wings ought to be all black. When these birds 
moult the first time they shed all their feathers except those 
of the wings and tail, the process of moulting being observed 
first on each side of the breast. The new coat comes clear 

346 The Canary Book. 

as the dark feathers disappear, and when thoroughly moulted 
the bodies of the birds appear in a rich bright, almost clear 
plumage, with dark wings and tails. They are then in their 
most perfect state as show birds, and never afterwards, as 
when they moult the following season they shed their tail and 
wing feathers, and these are reproduced almost clear, "being 
merely grizzled in place of being black. The young of these 
birds, however, although bred from parents which have moulted 
clear, appear in the dark plumage in their nest feather, and 
undergo the same process as their parents did before them ; 
this is the great and attractive feature or peculiarity of this 
particular variety of canaries. 

BREEDING. In breeding London Fancy canaries, it is 
customary to match a jonque and mealy bird together, but 
it will be found advantageous to breed from two mealies 
occasionally, for by this plan you increase the size and sub- 
stance of your birds, and it tends greatly bo improve the 
feather, more particularly in firmness and fringe. It will 
detract slightly from the colour if too frequently resorted to, 
but this must be avoided. 

These birds are not only difficult to breed in anything like 
perfection, but the greatest possible care is required in moult- 
ing, and when moulted in preserving them intact ; for if a tail 
or wing feather (flight feather) is prematurely shed or beaten 
out, it is certain to be reproduced clear or grizzled, and this 
circumstance alone would debar a bird from competing suc- 
cessfully at any show. It is, therefore, of the greatest im- 
portance to moult these birds in separate cages, and in some 
quiet corner of a room. The principal London breeders have 
cages made expressly for moulting these birds. They are a 
sort of box cage, being made of wood on all sides, with a wire 
front, but immediately behind this is placed a glass slide, 
which is seldom wholly withdrawn ; a portion of the top of the 
cage, too, is made to fold back with hinges, like a door, and 
inside of this is fixed a small wired frame This is used for 
supplying the occupant of the cage with fresh air. I do not 
advocate moulting birds in these boxed- in cage I m-efer an 

The London Fancy. 347 

open wire cage, with a very thin calico cover made to fit over 
it and tie down with strings at the bottom, as it answers all 
the requirements of the first -named cage, with the additional 
advantage of furnishing the occupant with more ventilation 
and fresh air. 

CLASSES. There are only two classes of this variety of 
canary, viz., jonques and mealies (yellows and buffs). 

POINTS. The chief features in the London Fancy canaries 
are their deep, bright, luxuriant plumage, their beautiful 
black wing-markings and black tails, and the fine, soft, silky 
appearance of their feathers. The jonque birds should be 
almost orange in tint throughout the body feathers, with a 
silvery luminous appearance pervading the outer surface; but 
this appearance, which is commonly called the "meal," is 
more conspicuous upon the buff birds, or "mealies," as they 
are usually termed. 

In size these birds vary from 4fin. to 5|in. in length. The 
head should be large, and the cap broad and expansive, and 
very rich in colour and free from any admixture of grey, or spots 
of a dark colour ; the neck rather short and thick ; the chest 
broad and full ; the back broad, and slightly curved outwardly ; 
the legs short, and the position semi-erect. A great many of the 
London fanciers regard the body colour as of the first import- 
ance, and this is looked for more particularly on the crown of 
the head, or, as it is usually styled, the " cap ;" also upon the 
breast and throat, which must be very fully developed, like- 
wise upon the scapulars or shoulder blades, and the rump; the 
colour must be pure and brilliant, and as free from tinge or 
mottle as possible, and even and regular, more especially on 
the "cap" and breast; the wings and tails, too, are of great 
importance, and to produce them free from that dingy, dusky, 
grizzly-looking hue, is probably the most difficult task a breeder 
has to encounter, and hence I think that too little weight is 
frequently attached to this very important feature in a good 
bird. The large feathers in the wings, and also the tail 
feathers, should be as nearly jet black as they can be got, with 
a nice gloss upon them; they should be entirely free from 

348 The Canary Book. 

grizzle; a good saddle, too, is a very decided advantage, and 
improves the appearance of a bird immensely. 

STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE. The following standard gives 
the relative value of each point, one hundred being the 
maximum : 


Colour, for intensity, brilliancy anil regularity, more 

particularly on head, breast, scapulars, and rump.. 35 
Wings and tail, for depth of tone and brightness of 

colour throughout, and also for formation 25 

Saddle, for fulness, shape, and colour 10 

Size of bird, length, and stoutness 7 

Contour and carriage 7 

Quality and firmness of feather 7 

Legs and underline, for blackness 5 

Throat, for expansiveness 4 

Total 100 

JUDGING-. In judging London Fancy canaries much care 
is needed, for they are a class of birds that can be won- 
derfully improved in the hands of skilful and unprincipled 

The bird represented in our engraving is a fair specimen of 
the breed. 



THIS bird is also known by the name of the " Cumberland 
Fancy," and in some parts as the " Common Canary." It is 
an old variety regenerated and given a new name, but by care- 
ful cultivation and the admixture of foreign blood such as 
Norwich and Yorkshire it has been greatly improved, and is 
deserving of a better title than that of the " Common Canary." 
The Border Fancy Canary is a small but rather neat-look- 
ing bird, light in build, short in length of body, and very tight 
in feather, which gives it a smart, bright, active, and compact 
appearance. It should be well-proportioned, and in fact look 
something like a diminutive specimen of a good Yorkshire 
canary. The head is small and round, with neat well-formed 
cheeks, as if chiselled; the beak should be small and slender, 
the neck thin, the back well filled and level in appearance, 
the chest neat and round, but not heavy looking; legs pro- 
portionate to the body, and to show very little thigh when 
standing in show position ; the wings must be tight and close- 
fitting to the body, level, and must meet at the tips ; the tail 
must be neat, close, and compact, and somewhat round, re- 
sembling the shank of a pipe not fish-tailed ; length of bird, 
5in. to 5|in. ; position inclined to be more erect than other- 
wise, the head being elevated, and the line from back of 
head to tail should form a rather acute angle. The colour 
must be soft and delicate; artificial colour, produced by 
jeeding during the process of the moult is altogether ignored 

350 The Canary Book. 

by the admirers of these birds. Good and robust health and 
fine condition are essential points in this variety. 

There are clear and marked birds among the Border 
Fancy, but type and quality overrule markings, however per- 
fect the latter may be ; and, according to the rules of judging 
this variety, a bird possessing superior shape, feather, and 
style, would in a class for " any variety " of this breed, be 
placed before a perfect evenly-marked specimen which lacked 
in a marked degree the qualities named, and even in a class 
of marked birds, an unevenly- marked bird would not vie with 
an evenly-marked one on the same grounds which to me 
is rather enigmatical as even-marking is more difficult to 
obtain by far than the features which the fanciers of these 
birds so much esteem. For instance, a bird with even wings 
and one eye-mark, or with two uneven eye-markings and one 
wing-mark, would be placed before a bird with evenly well- 
balanced eye- and wing-markings, providing the contour and 
tout ensemble of the former somewhat exceeded the latter. 
This I consider rather hypercritical. Evenly- and unevenly- 
marked birds are, as a rule, shown in separate classes, and 
when exhibited together all the points should be separately 
considered, and full allowance made for markings as well as 
form and other properties. 

This breed has evidently been originated by crossing the 
common German canary with the Norwich and Yorkshire 
fancy, selecting stock birds possessing the points sought after, 
and by careful and judicious breeding for a number of years 
the variety has been perfected. 

The standard for judging may be summarised as follows: 


Shape, style, and general contour 35 

Colour, for purity, softness, and delicacy ; and feather ; 

for soundness and silkiness in texture 15 

Head and beak 10 

Tail 10 

Wings 10 

Legs and feet 5 

Condition and health 15 

Total... .. 100 

The Border Fancy. 351 

This breed is greatly esteemed on the borders of Scotland 
and Cumberland, and in the north and north-west of England 
generally; at Galashiels and Hawick, and in Carlisle, White- 
haven, and other border towns the best specimens are to be 
found. They are hardy and prolific birds, and well adapted 
to beginners in the bird fancy. 



DUTCH CANARIES. This variety, once so popular among 
English fanciers, is now almost obsolete. It is probably in size 
the largest of all the canary tribes indeed, they may be fairly 
considered as the giants of their race. 

A good specimen of a Dutch Fancy canary, or, as they are 
sometimes inaptly termed, " Dutch Belgians," is a large hand- 
some bird, with a large full handsomely formed head, a long 
straight, full neck, a well-sharjed body of considerable length, 
good substantial shoulders, broad and massive, but not elevated 
like a Belgian Fancy bird, a fine deep prominent chest, a good 
stout waist, long, well-formed legs, and a long, compact, sweeping 
tail, with a bold, erect, and noble carriage. They are mostly very 
rough in feather on their bodies, and are often heavily frilled 
both on the breast and back, some of them to such an extent 
as to give them a sort of woolly appearance. They are a 
hardy, robust race of birds, and it seems to be a great pity 
that they have become so unpopular and neglected indeed, 
so much so, that they have completely fallen into disregard, 
having been entirely superseded by the Belgian Fancy canaries 
and Lancashire Coppies, the latter having originated from this 

GREEN CANARIES. There are now very many fanciers to 
be found who are partial to a Green canary, and in Liverpool 
this variety is in great vogue, and special classes are provided 

Any other Variety of Canary. 353 

for them at the principal shows. Size, colour, and form are 
the most essential points recognised in this variety. 

The colour should be of a decided green throughout, clear 
and bright, and free from dinginess. Sometimes the colour is 
described as " grass green ; " bu* at any rate it should be a 
pleasant yellowish green, free from stripiness and black marks, 
and as level and evenly distributed over the entire surface 
of the body as possible; light throats, rumps, vents, thighs 
and bellies are decidedly objectionable, and birds with these 
faults should be discarded, as also those of a dull blackish 
green shade. 

BREEDING. To produce good specimens fit for the show 
bench, I would recommend the crossing of pure Norwich 
Greens with birds bred between a good Cinnamon and a Green 
plain-head, bred from large modern Crested- Norwich birds. 
Select a bird with a large, broad skull, and a stout, massive 
body, not too long in feather, but of a good colour and shape 
a good green Yorkshire bred from a Cinnamon strain may 
also be used with advantage but for my own part I prefer a 
bird that is inclined to be bulky in body, and massive in 
head and neck, provided the colour is right, as I admire sub- 
stance as well as length in these birds. Do not pair two 
dark Greens together, but a dark Green mated with a pale 
Green frequently produce progeny of the right stamp. It 
is not material whether the male or female is light or dark, 
but I prefer the hen to be light and the cock to be dark. 
The faults or negative properties of a Green bird are : Dark 
stripes on the back or breast, light coloured throats, sides, 
breasts, vents, rumps, and thighs. Like the present day 
Cinnamons, these birds are found in various sizes and styles ; 
but a large, well-formed bird of the approved colour and 
free from the faults mentioned is pretty sure to win. Green, 
like Cinnamon, is a colour that is easily preserved, but I 
certainly would advise the breeders of this variety to select 
self-coloured birds to breed from as much as possible; but 
if large size is deemed essential, it will be necessary occasionally 
to use a flecked or variegated bird, and I know of no bird so 

2 A 

354 The Canary Book. 

suitable as a good crested-bred Plain-head Norwich of the 
right stamp, or a large bird bred between a bird of that 
variety and a large Cinnamon bird. 



Colour, for richness, clearness, brightness, and even dis- 
tribution throughout 40 

Skull, for size, and beak for neatness 8 

Back and breast, for width and substance 10 

Tail, for compactness and neatness 7 

Style, for type, closeness and fineness of feather .... 20 

Size, contour, and condition 15 

Total "lOO 

GERMAN CANARIES. These are the common type of canaries, 
and they are prized solely on account of their song. They are 
taught by the Germans (artisans chiefly) to imitate the songs 
of other birds and the notes of musical instruments, and are 
valued according to their capabilities as musicians. But the 
most valued of all are the variety known by the name of the 
Hartz Mountain Rollers, which are reared in Hanover and 
Saxony, in the neighbourhood of the Hartz Mountains. Their 
song is varied by a series of notes or sounds which they 
warble or roll forth with great fervour, and those which have 
the longest and sweetest trills, and which run or roll their 
notes to the greatest length, or frequently repeat the most 
admired portion of them, are the most highly prized, and bring 
the highest prices. We have known as much as 35s. to have 
been given for an exceptional bird of this kind. They are 
imported annually by most of the respectable dealers in London 
and other large towns, and vary in price from 5s. to 15s. each; 
rare specimens bring larger prices. Those birds that are in- 
tended to be instructed in the art of song are removed from 
their parents at an early age and reared by hand. Almost as 
soon as they begin to twitter they are placed under their in- 
structors in an apartment far removed from the sound of any 
canary still in possession of its " natural wood notes wild." 

When they are able to feed themselves they are placed in a 
room with some five or six others that are intended to be taught 

Any other Variety of Canary. 355 

the same song or set of notes. It is customary to keep them in 
total darkness during the early hours of tuition, and sometimes 
it is found advisable to have recourse to hunger to make them 
attentive and subservient. Great patience and perseverance 
are needed to make them anything like proficient scholars in this 
branch of education, and so powerful are their natural instincts 
that instances are on record where some of the best taught and 
most masterly songsters have been completely spoilt by being 
hung in close proximity for a few months to a bird that was an 
ardent exponent of his own natural lays. It must not be for- 
gotten by those who delight in keeping canaries that have learnt 
the song of other birds, or to imitate the notes of any musical 
instrument, that they cease singing during the season for moult- 
ing, and at that time they are very apt to reject their artificial 
notes for the natural melody of their race ; therefore it will be 
most prudent to remove them during this period beyond the 
sound and hearing of any other bird of their kind. 

The most notable breeders of these birds are the Messrs. 
Trute Bros., of St. Andreasberg, in the neighbourhood of the 
Hartz Mountains, and birds bred and reared by these men 
bring higher prices than those of other breeders. In order to 
procure the best songsters, the most reliable strain must be 
used, for the voice and powers of vocalization, even in canaries, 
appear to be hereditary. These birds are not at all difficult to 
breed, being of the very commonest type of the canary 
family. They may be bred in pairs in cages, or one male 
may be mated with two females if thought desirable. If, 
however, aviary breeding is preferred, one male may be 
placed with four females, only they will need to be carefully 
looked after, as sometimes hens prove mischievous, and interfere 
with each other's nests, &c. In all such cases the delinquents 
should be removed, and placed in cages. 

The method adopted by the St. Andreasberg fanciers 
in feeding and treating their birds will be found useful to 
those fanciers who have a predilection for the trained 
German songsters, or Hartz Mountain Boilers, as they are 
usually styled. It is as follows : During the breeding season, 

2 A 2 

356 The Canary Book. 

first meal at 5 a.m., second 9 a.m., third 1 p.m., and fourth 
at 5.30 p.m. ; at all other times at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. 

The food consists of zwiebacken (rusks) and hard-boiled eggs 
(both whites and yokes are used). The rusks are ground to 
a fine powder in a mortar, and the eggs passed through a 
fine wire sieve. The ingredients are used in equal proportions, 
thoroughly incorporated, and given dry. The seed consists of 
the very best German rape ; avoid old seed. No canary seed 
is given by Germans to their birds; but occasionally as a treat, 
a mixture of lettuce seed and maw seed (the whole kind pre- 
ferred) is given in equal proportions. It is usually given with 
the egg food ; two or three teaspoonf uls of seed is placed in the 
egg pan, and a sprinkling of egg food is placed over it. The 
feeding troughs are cleaned out every day, or the food would 
become sour. The Germans run their best birds into a clean 
cage every alternate morning. The empty cages are placed in 
a tub of boiling water, in which a small quantity of soap and 
soda has been dissolved, and after being thoroughly washed 
they are rinsed in hot water and left to dry in the open air, 
or by the side of a fire. The cages used by the Germans for 
their song birds are very small, and are made entirely of 
wood, thin round sticks being used in place of wires. None 
but the best rusks are to be used for feeding, and if these 
are not obtainable Oswego biscuits are substituted, but the 
rusks are greatly preferred. On no account must those be 
used which have become musty. The St. Andreasberg fanciers' 
remedy for a cold is peppermint, dried i.e., the common mint 
of our gardens. This remedy is resorted to on the slightest 
appearance of a cold, or if the evacuations from the bowels 
are of a greenish colour; it is also used in cases of hoarse- 
ness or wheezing; and it is likewise given if a bird is observed 
to be dull and listless, or mopish, with its feathers ruffled up, 
a form known among fanciers as " sitting thick ;" or if the 
excrement has a fetid or sour smell, generally the result of 
over-feeding with egg food, which disorders the liver. When 
a bird is observed to have a cold, they cease to give it egg 
food until it has recovered, and in its place they feed on milk 

Any other Variety of Canary. 357 

sop, made with stale bread soaked in milk, squeezed dry, and 
sweetened with manna. If the patient refuses this food, a 
little moist sugar or honey is substituted for the manna, but 
the latter is considered preferable. The peppermint is pre- 
pared by pouring hot water over the dried leaves and allowing 
them to infuse in a warm place for a couple of hours, when 
they are strained through a piece of muslin. It is prepared 
fresh every day, or every alternate day at the farthest, and 
given in place of the drinking water. The Germans never 
give their birds cold water to drink, they give it lukewarm, 
and if a bird is in health they get a little egg food every 
day or every alternate day, as they believe that it induces a 
bird to eat its seed more freely. The Germans consider that 
a newly-imported bird should not have a supply of sand given 
him, and only very sparingly after he becomes acclimatised 
until he gets accustomed to it, as otherwise it will kill it. I 
cannot see the danger, nor understand the logic of this advice, 
as birds cannot be kept in health without a supply of sand 
or grit, but I reluctantly tell what the Germans say. Another 
thing about which they are very particular is the temperature 
in which their birds are kept. It varies from GOdeg. to 
65deg. Bird dealers in this country keep them in a much 
higher temperature, say, from 70deg. upwards; the warmer 
they are kept the more freely they sing, but the greater 
the heat the sooner they will be brought into moult, when 
they cease to sing, so that a moderate use of heat is pre- 

If a bird becomes too vivacious and begins to " scream " 
he is gradually put into outer darkness, the cage being covered 
by degrees with thick cloth until the light is entirely excluded. 
After a few days he is allowed to have a little light, and if 
he still " screams " he is again covered. After a few weeks 
of this treatment he will understand the reason and refrain. 
The great cause of failure among many fanciers of these lovely 
songsters in our country is attributed to the manner in which 
they are fed and treated, and more particularly is this the 
case with imported specimens. The Germans hnve made a 

358 The Canary Book. 

life study of the subject, and their methods of feeding and 
treatment ought not to be ignored. 

CROSS BREEDS. Birds bred between the Lizard and Norwich 
Fancy canaries, or between the London Fancy and Belgian 
Fancy, or any other cross between separate and distinct 
varieties, are named cross breeds, but in some towns some of 
these crosses have distinguishing names given to them, as, for 
instance, some people call three-parts bred Lizard canaries 
" Spangle Backs." Then again, the birds frequently denominated 
" French Canaries " come within this category, as they 
are merely three-quarter bred Belgian Fancy canaries. None 
of these crosses, excepting the Cinnamon and variegated 
Cinnamon, are of any real intrinsic value, as they are used 
principally for experimental purposes only. 

3 .g 


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_. 4J 
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GOLDFINCH AND CANARY MULES. Formerly these elegant and 
highly-prized hybrids were all shown in one class, under the 
general name of " Goldfinch and Canary mules," and the rule 
for judging them in those days was, to use the vernacular of that 
period, "nearest the canary," which is meant to signify a bird 
with the fewest dark feathers on its body. At the present day, 
however, there are several classes for these birds at most of our 
"All England" shows, and they are capable of the following 
divisions and sub-divisions : Clear or ticked yellow, clear or 
ticked buff, evenly-marked yellow, evenly- marked buff, un- 
evenly-marked yellow, unevenly-marked buff, dark jonque, dark 

A goldfinch and canary mule with a perfectly clear body and a 
rich, deep broad flourish round the beak, is the rarest and most 
valuable of all the canary hybrids, more particularly if the 
under flue or small body feathers next the skin are clear as well, 
Next in estimation to a bird of this description is one very 
lightly ticked ; in fact, the one most nearly resembling a clear 
bird hence the term " nearest the canary." Size, colour, contour, 
feather, and condition are all points of merit in birds of this 
kind; but the aforenamed qualities far outweigh every other 
consideration in judging them. The evenly-marked variety is 
to my thinking, by far the handsomest, and it is without doubt, 
the most popular. The even markings, the rich orange band 
that surrounds the bill, commonly called the " flourish," the 

360 The Canary Book. 

colour, which should be clear, pure, and delicate in tint, and free 
from any slaty-coloured tinge, are among the chief points of 
merit in this class of mules. 

The following Standard of Excellence for evenly-marked mules 
has been carefully made, each feature having been duly weighed 
and fully considered, and a percentage accorded to it separately, 
showing its relative value ; 100 points is fixed as representing 
the highest excellence attainable : 



Head, beak, and flourish 10 

Eye markings 15 

Wing 1 marking, saddle, and contour 20 

Colour (to include the yellow bars on wings) 15 

Size 5 

Freedom from any dark tinge on cheeks, vent, rump 

and fchighs 10 

Clear underflue... r 10 

Quality of feather and condition 10 

Clear legs and feet 5 

Total 100 

A bird with even eye and wing markings, and a dark feather 
on each side of the tail, is considered a legitimate show bird in 
this class, and, in point of perfection, stands next to the " four 
pointed " birds. 

The Standard of Excellence for Unevenly-marked Birds, the 
conditions being the same as those referred to in the last-named 
class, are as follows : 



Head, beak, and flourish 15 

Colour.... 20 

Size and contour 10 

Markings 15 

Saddle 5 

Freedom from dark tinge on body feathers 10 

Clear underflue 10 

Quality and condition 10 

Clear legs and feet 5 

Total 100 

In this class the markings are not nearly of so much impor- 

Canary Mules. 361 

tance as they are in the first named class colour, size, and 
shape are weighty matters in judging these birds, and are 
allowed for accordingly. The markings to be preferred to all 
others are even wings and eyes, with a solitary dark feather on 
one side of the tail, or even wings and one eye marking only ; 
next in point of merit to these we prefer a bird with evenly- 
marked wings and a small cap or spot on the head. A bird with 
eye-marks and a clear body should be shown as a ticked bird. 
When the ticked and unevenly marked birds are shown together 
in one class, the ticked birds are pretty sure to take precedence, 
unless the marked birds are extraordinarily good, and the 
ticked birds wanting in size, colour, and quality. 

When hybrids between the goldfinch and canary can be pro- 
cured resembling the one shown in our illustration, they may be 
considered both valuable and rare, and are very beautiful to look 
upon. The bird from which the cut was taken belonged to Mr. J. 
Doel, of Stonehouse, Devon. The eye-markings are not quite 
perfect in form, but in all other respects it was the bird par 
excellence, and very difficult to put aside, as it possessed good 
size, colour, form, and feather, and was in reality a gem. 

Dark goldfinch mules are judged for size, colour, and contour 
principally, but rich dazzling colour, and more particularly a 
large fiery blaze round the beak and down the breast of the 
bird, are of the first importance. 

The Standard of Excellence for Dark Goldfinch Mules is as 
under : 


Head, beak, and flourish 25 

Body, colour, and breast 25 

Size and contour 15 

Quality of feathers 5 

Condition 10 

Saddle 5 

Bloom or meal 10 

Golden bars on wings, for extension and brilliancy in 

colour 5 

Total 100 

BROWN LINNET AND CANARY MULES. There is seldom more 
than one class for these birds at any show. When this is the 

362 The Canary Book. 

case they are judged for the resemblance to a clear canary. 
Next to a bird of this sort conies an evenly-marked bird ; the 
dark varieties are of very little value. These hybrids are more 
frequently shown in the classes for " any other variety of canary 
mules " than otherwise. Personally, I prefer an evenly-marked 
specimen, but have never seen more than one. In the dark birds, 
size, colour, form, and condition are the chief characteristics. 

SISKIN AND CANARY MULES. Siskin mules are, generally 
speaking, not very attractive birds to look at, and ninety-five 
out of every hundred of them resemble the siskin so much, 
particularly if bred from a small green canary hen, that it requires 
a thoroughly practised eye to discern wherein the difference 
lies. The one forming the subject of the engraving is quite 
an exceptional bird; and I never remember having seen one 
in which the canary colours predominated so strongly. This 
bird was the property of Mr. R. Hawman, of Middlesbrough, 
a well-known and esteemed fancier and successful exhibitor. 

It is said that siskin and canary mules are the only hybrids 
which propagate their species, but I have never tried the 
experiment, and cannot say, therefore, whether this is so or not. 

OTHER VARIETIES OF MULES. There are, in addition to 
the varieties of canary mules already specified, those bred 
between the greenfinch and canary; but they are regarded 
as of little value, as they invariably favour the greenfinch 
very much, both in colour and marking, as well as form, they 
have a poor song, and are only shown in an " any other variety 
of mule " class ; but whenever a good specimen of a brown 
linnet mule or a mule bred between a bullfinch and goldfinch, 
is shown against them, it invariably happens that one or other 
of the last-named varieties bears away the palm. Bech stein, 
in his book entitled "Cage and Chamber Birds," at page 286 
mentions an instance where a friend of his (Dr. Jassay, of 
Frankfort-on-the-Maine) succeeded in producing mules between 
a bullfinch and canary, but I have never seen a well-authenti- 
cated specimen of this cross. I know the birds pair readily 
enough, but their eggs, so far as my experience goes, never 
prove fruitful I have seen two birds, said to be hybrids 

"3 P 

ft i 

8| O 

"* p 

<*3 K 
x 1= e 

Canary Mules. 363 

of this sort, but I am convinced that the one was a flecked 
canary with a malformed bill, and the other a mule between 
a canary and a greenfinch. 

For further information on the subject of hybrids, see the 
chapter devoted to " Mule Breeding." 

The bullfinch and brown or grey linnet will breed together, 
but their produce are rather rarce aves than specimens of 
elegance. I have likewise seen a bird exhibited as a hybrid 
between a yellow-hammer and a canary. I examined it very 
carefully and could trace no characteristics of the last-mentioned 
species. It appeared to me to be a yellow-hammer pure and 
simple. I have never observed any amatory tendency to exist 
between the yellow-hammer and canary, but the reverse. 



To the uninitiated, washing birds is not only a tedious but a 
difficult operation, and one not unfrequently attended with fatal 
results in the hands of inexperienced manipulators, but to those 
who have been regularly accustomed to prepare birds for exhi- 
bition, for any lengthened period, it becomes a matter of small 
concern, and a bird is toiletted and put through its ablutions 
without the least compunction or misgiving ; but for all that it 
requires great care and skill to do it well and satisfactorily. If 
a bird is improperly washed it looks worse than it would do if it 
were moderately dirty. 

Fanciers who live in suburban residences or in the country do 
not require to wash their birds so frequently for exhibition as 
those people who live in large over- grown towns where smoke 
and dust appear as though tney were component parts of the 
atmosphere, so that clean, sprightly, gay-coloured birds get so 
begrimed and so besmeared with dirt, that they are barely 
recognisable a week after they have been washed. In all such 
cases as these, birds shown for colour chiefly, or even where colour 
forms an important consideration, must of necessity be washed 
for each show at which they are intended to be exhibited, other- 
wise the labour and expense incurred in sending them will be 
entirely thrown away, for unless a bird is as clean " as paint " it 
has a meagre chance of success. 

A number of amateur fanciers nowadays rush headlong into 
the too prevalent practice of claiming prize birds, thinking, as 

Washing Canaries. 365 

they no doubt do, that it is only necessary to secure a few birds 
of this stamp, and send them to a certain number of shows, when, 
according to their theory and calculations, they will be reim- 
bursed for their outlay by obtaining prizes. But they appear to 
forget, or entirely ignore the fact that these birds require to be 
properly prepared for each essay ; and if they are neglected the 
chances are that they will be inevitably overthrown, for it is 
astonishing what a change in position a slight difference in 
appearance will effect at times. But this is not to be so much 
wondered at after all, if people would only consider the great 
difficulties judges have to encounter, now and again, in discrimi- 
nating between the relative qualities of two birds (especially in 
clears), so closely is the race for honours contested in somo 
classes. To give an instance in point, I may relate that I have 
known a bird take prizes at every show it was sent to by one man, 
yet when it fell into the hands of another, and was sent to com- 
pete among the same birds that it had hitherto defeated, with 
the same judges officiating, it got nothing beyond a mere com- 
mendation, and in one instance was passed by without notice. I 
refer to these facts in order to show plainly the necessity 
for the closest attention and care in washing birds properly and 
thoroughly, and in preparing them in a systematic and 
artistic manner, without which it is a waste of time and money 
to attempt to show birds. 

Before you begin to practise upon a bird it would be 
advisable, if an opportunity presented itself, to watch some 
experienced person perform the operation, as you would doubt- 
less learn more readily in this way than in any other; but 
where it is not possible to do so, then it will be best to proceed 
in the following manner : First of all, supply yourself with a 
piece of good soap I prefer old brown Windsor to all other 
kinds two pieces of soft flannel, scrupulously clean; two or 
three nice soft cotton cloths, or old silk handkerchiefs, without 
spot, stain, or tinge upon them ; two large-sized basins wash- 
basins are most suitable two quart jugs, a large kettle full 
of boiling water, and a plentiful supply of pure cold water 
as well; a chair or two, and a stool made for a low seat. 
Some exhibitors use curd, Pears', white Windsor, or other 

366 The Canary Book. 

soap. Pears' soap I have found to answer well, as also white 
curd, but if a bird is very dirty, thoroughly begrimed, then 
I advise the use of soft soap and powdered borax, Idr. 
of the latter to loz. of the former. Mix these ingredients 
well together and use in moderate quantities, as this mixture 
makes a powerful lather and requires a good deal of rinsing 
off to get the soap out of the feathers, but if well done it 
makes the birds washed with it thoroughly clean. Another 
formula, which is used for both cleaning and beautifying the 
feathers, is as follows: Curd soap, dried and powdered, loz., 
good yellow soap (also dried and powdered) loz., three Jordan 
almonds, skinned and blanched, orange-flower water and rose 
water Idr. each; put the powdered soaps into a jar with 
sufficient water to moisten them, but no more, and place the 
jar in a saucepan of hot water until dissolved. When the 
almonds have been skinned and dried with a clean towel, 
pound them well in a mortar, and when fine add the rose- and 
orange-flower water gradually, stirring them with the pestle 
all the time; then strain, and add the soap as soon as it is 
dissolved, and thoroughly incorporate the whole of the 
ingredients. When they begin to stiffen, pour into a small 
tin ready for use. 

Catch the birds you intend to wash and put them in a cage 
altogether. If they quarrel, throw a cover over them ; for, 
if they are show birds, which is generally presumed, they must 
not be permitted to pluck each other. Place them upon a 
table or some convenient spot near you; but, ere you begin 
to operate, you must provide yourself with another cage, which 
should be thoroughly cleaned out and washed, or well rubbed 
with a cloth, and the bottom of it sprinkled with silver sand; 
this is to put the birds in to get aired off. In addition to 
this, you will require a drying cage. Formerly I used a Belgian 
canary show cage, which I laid upon its side, with perches 
fixed crosswise inside of it, and I had it entirely covered 
externally with flannel, except the doorway, and firmly sewn 
all over it, with a long piece stitched at the hinge side of the 
door to fold over the opening cut out to allow the door t 

Washing Canaries. 367 

work when needed; this is a most essential and indispensable 
requisite, as the birds dry more rapidly in this way than in 
any other. Latterly, however, I have used a box which I 
contrived purposely for drying birds in, and it answers admir- 
ably ; it is sixteen inches long, eight inches wide, and ten inches 
in depth ; it is made with a solid wood bottom ; the portion 
forming the body is framed with inch square laths, and then 
covered with flannel; one of the ends is done over with per- 
forated zinc to admit the air, whilst the other has a framed 
glass door hung on hinges to let in light (the glass could 
be made to slide in a groove if need be), which enables the 
operator to see at a glance if all is right within, and likewise 
how the occupants progress. Two perches are fixed inside 
by letting two upright miniature posts into the bottom; these 
are three inches in height, and cross pieces are fastened to 
them with small screws from the top. When the drying box 
is not being used it should be folded in two paper covers 
and kept in another box or calico bag to keep the dust 
from it. 

I will now proceed to describe minutely the process of 
washing : First of all place the stool a short distance from the 
fire ; stir the fire if necessary and make it a good one, and rake 
out all the dust from the bars. Having done this, place the 
drying-box or cage upon the stool to get it thoroughly warmed 
through; spread the cotton cloths, or old silk handkerchief, 
over it so that they may get well warmed by the time they 
are required; pour out some hot water into one of the jugs 
and some cold into the other. Next wash your hands per- 
fectly clean, and having poured some hot and cold water into 
one of the basins in such proportions as to leave it at about 
75deg. to 85deg. temperature, commence to make it into a 
soap lather; and having folded the two pieces of flannel 
ready for use, rub some soap on to one of these also. Some 
fanciers prefer to use a shaving brush instead of a piece 
of flannel to rub in the soap lather. I do not approve of 
this plan, for the reason that the hairs of the brush often 
get into the eyes of the birds and cause irritation, and, in 

368 The Canary Book. 

some cases, inflammation, whereas a piece of clean flannel or 
cotton waste is never productive of injury in any form. In 
the next place, you must pour some clean water into the other 
basin, hot and cold, to about the same temperature. I pre- 
sume that you have already doffed your coat and folded back 
your shirt sleeves over your elbows ; you are now ready to begin. 
First, put a piece of soap or some of the compound into 
a basin and dissolve it in hot water, then add cold water 
until the proper temperature is obtained, afterwards take 
the bird you value least first, and place it in your left hand 
with its head from you; you must grasp it securely but not 
tightly ; let it be as passive as possible, at the same time it 
must be held in such a way that it cannot by any possibility 
make its escape; let it lay somewhat loosely in your hand, 
and place your thumb or your forefinger over its neck, with 
sufficient pressure to hold it but no more. 

You must be careful to avoid any undue pressure upon 
any part of its body, and more particularly over the region of 
the heart or bowels. If a bird makes a sudden dash, and you 
feel conscious that it will elude your grasp, let it go; for if 
you attempt to prevent it you will in all likelihood either 
hurt it or pull out some of its wing or tail feathers. It is an 
easy matter to catch it again. There is a great art in hand- 
ling a bird properly, and, although it is very simple when 
discovered, it requires a large amount of practice to enable 
any person to do it efficiently. You must not be timid or 
fumble when handling a bird, for birds, like horses, appear 
to know instinctively when they have a novice to deal with. 
Always remember that to have confidence in your own 
prowess is half the battle won; without it, how many men 
have failed to achieve feats which otherwise they might have 
accomplished easily enough ! 

Commence to wash the back of the bird first from the 
junction of the ' neck downwards ; the wings next. Let your 
middle and lower fingers recede a little, and spread the wing 
of the bird over them and wash it thoroughly ; after doing one 
wing turn the bird round and do the other in like manner, and 

Washing Canaries. 369 

the tail as well. Some fanciers place the thighs of the bird 
they are operating upon between their fingers whilst thus 
engaged, but it is not advisable for a novice to attempt 
this. Next wash the head and neck, and do not be sparing 
with the soap lather ; get well into the hollows and about the 
cheeks and sides of the neck; then turn the bird over and 
place your little finger over the lower part of its body, and 
begin to wash the throat, breast, body, &c. Do not be afraid 
of giving it a complete lathering; never heed it if it gets the 
soap in its eyes or a few mouthf uls of the lather ; it will not 
be harmed thereby. 

After you have finished this part of the programme, you 
must take the other flannel and go over the bird in the same 
way as before, with clean water. Never be afraid of giving 
it a good sousing with the pure liquid, for one of the principal 
secrets in washing birds is to get the soap completely out of 
the feathers. Having accomplished this part of the operation 
to your satisfaction, you must proceed to dry the bird. Take 
the long wing feathers, and pressing them gently together, 
draw them between your lips to bring out the wet; having 
done the wings, draw the tail through your mouth in the same 
way ; then proceed to pat the bird as gently as you can with one 
of the warm dry cotton cloths or handkerchiefs, spread out 
the wings and tail as before, and dry them as well as you can. 
Having got out all the moisture you are able, roll the bird in one 
of the other dry cloths, leaving its head partly out, and hold 
it to the fire pretty closely for about three minutes, with your 
finger over the region of the heart very lightly. As soon as 
you feel the pulsation return naturally you may release the 
little prisoner, and place it in the drying cage. The whole 
of this operation must be performed as close to the fire as you 
can bear to be, for if a bird gets chilled it may die. 

Birds become very much exhausted by this process, and lie 
panting for several minutes after they are admitted into the 
drying compartment ; but you must not be alarmed thereby, 
for I may tell you that I have washed hundreds of birds for 
shows during the past thirty years, and never lost one myself. 

2 B 

370 The Canary Book. 

It takes about five minutes to wash a bird, and twenty minutes 
to get it quite dry. You must not let them get too dry in 
the box or cage used for that purpose. I have found it a good 
plan to place the drying box on the top of a basin containing 
hot water, as the moisture arising therefrom prevents the birds 
from drying too rapidly, which causes the feathers to become 
hard and loose fitting, and detracts so greatly from a bird's 
appearance as to risk its chance of winning a prize. As soon 
as you observe a bird to be about two-thirds dry, remove it to 
the airing-off cage. This cage should be placed upon a chair, 
not too far from the fire, with a light covering over it, and must 
be removed gradually as the birds get quite dry, to cool them. 
Lastly uncover the cage, and remove it to the far side of the 
room. An hour aftewards the birds may be returned to their 
domiciles. If the tail or wing feather should get twisted awry 
or curled up, give the bird some water to wash itself. If this 
does not remedy the fault, catch it, and put the feather or 
featheis so crumpled or ruffled in a little warm water, then 
draw them a few times gently between your finger and thumb, 
and they will soon resume their wonted appearance. If the 
soap is not thoroughly removed from the feathers, they will 
curl and twist and spoil the look of the birds. 

After you have washed one bird you will require to put more 
hot water into each basin to bring up the temperature to about 
SOdeg., and this will need to be done after each operation. 
Spread the damp cloths over the drying cage each time after 
they have been used. Carefully examine the wing and tail 
feathers of your bird, and if any are found broken they should 
be withdrawn at once, but until they grow again, the bird will 
not be in a fit condition to show. There should be eighteen 
flying feathers in each wing and twelve in the tail. It takes 
six weeks for a feather to grow to its full length, but if one 
feather is drawn from the tail or the wing the bird may be 
shown as soon as the new feather becomes distinctly visible to 
the naked eye. I think it is best to wash all birds intended 
for exhibition two or three days before they are required to 
be sent off. 



BEFORE canaries can be exhibited, they require to be specially 
fed, washed (as described in the previous chapter), and 
otherwise prepared for the contest. This is the case with 
horses, dogs, poultry, pigeons, and other animals and birds, 
and canaries are no exception to the rule. 

Norwich Plain-heads and Cinnamons are shown for colour 
chiefly; and at the age of from six to eight weeks, those 
intended for exhibition should be placed in separate cages, or, 
at any rate, apart from the ordinary stock birds, and fed 
with one or other of the compounds recommended for colour 
feeding, depending on whether you wish to produce yellow 
or red-fed birds. For colour feeding you must be careful 
to select birds of a recognised type, of good quality of 
feather, and large and robust, or your labours will be thrown 

If the birds you select for this purpose are young, i.e., 
of the first season, in order to give them a fair chance 
of success, they will require to be tailed and flighted, that is 
to say, the tails of the birds, as well as the majority of the 
wing feathers, will have to be drawn out, as it is only during 
the process of the moult that the colour feeding affects the 
plumage. It is a cruel and unnatural practice, and one I am 
greatly averse to myself, but what is to be done? Most 
exhibitors do it, as they know it is their only chance of 
success, as the best birds not so treated would probably fail to 

2 B 2 

372 The Canary Book. 

get beyond the Y.H.C. division in a good All England show. 
You must not draw a single feather until you are satisfied 
that the moulting process has begun, which is first noticeable 
at the sides of the breast; when this is observed, draw out 
the tail. It should be done by a single pull. Place the 
feathers together tightly, and grasp them firmly between the 
thumb and forefingers of the right hand, about the centre of 
the tail, give a sudden jerk to your hand, and the thing is 
accomplished. To pluck them out one by one is not only 
more cruel, but it would cause the new growth to spread 
and expand, which would be a very grave fault in any 
show bird. 

A week after this operation, commence with the wings ; leave 
the first two or three of the largest flight feathers, as the 
others cover them to such an extent that they are scarcely 
noticeable, and these are not only the worse to draw, but are 
the most likely to cause damage to the wings, and most pain 
to the birds. Begin by pulling two feathers out of each wing 
at one operation, commencing with the largest feathers, say 
the third or fourth, or fourth and fifth, according to your 
decision to leave two or three unplucked ; let a day intervene 
before drawing the next four feathers, and so on, until the 
task is completed. Take the bird in your left hand, open 
the wing, then hold it firmly by placing your forefinger on 
one side of the shoulder and your thumb on the other side, 
and grip firmly during the operation of drawing the feathers. 
Some fanciers leave the wings until the bird is half over the 
moult, as the feathers come out more readily then, or are 
mpposed to do so, but the objection to this practice is that 
it keeps the birds too long under the moulting process, which 
is weakening to the constitution. If the wings are not held 
firmly during the operation of drawing the feathers they will 
probably get broken, in which case the bird, however good in 
other respects, would be rendered useless as a show bird. It 
will be found advantageous to hold the wings of the bird over a 
cup containing hot water, as the steam causes the f CM thers to 
come out easier, and with less pain to the bird. A little 

Preparing Birds for Exhibition. 373 

magnesia or Epsoni salts placed in the drinking-water a few 
days before the birds are operated upon is also of much 
service. If by accident the wing is caused to bleed it should 
be bathed with warm water and dressed with a few drops of the 
compound tincture of myrrh, applied by a feather or a camel- 
hair brush. It is advisable in the case of an inexperienced 
fancier or amateur to get an "old hand" to perform the 
operation, if one is procurable. 

When the colour feeding is first begun, let the birds have a 
supply of canary seed in addition to the prepared food, and 
partly cover the cages with some thin material that will not 
altogether exclude the light. When the colour feed is freely 
consumed, remove the canary seed and substitute mustard 
seed, and gradually lower the cover until it reaches within two 
inches of the bottom of the wiring in front of the cage, but do 
not exclude any light except the direct rays of the sun, as 
light is necessary to health, but the direct rays of the sun 
affect the colour and make it much paler. (See Chapter on 

When the birds have completed the process of the moult, 
the covers may be partly or entirely removed, provided there 
is not a strong or direct light upon them, and the ordinary 
seed diet may be substituted for the food used to produce 
colour. A varied diet will also be found of great benefit at 
this period. 

A few groats, a little linseed, hemp, inga, or rape seed should 
be given sparingly once or twice a week. Great care must be 
taken to keep birds intended for exhibition scrupulously clean ; 
they should be supplied with fresh sand and good grit at least 
once a week, and should have a bath twice a week, if the 
weather will permit and the temperature is above freezing- 
point. Before a bird is sent off to a show it should be washed, 
if dirty, at least three days before it is despatched on its 
journey, and if the tail is not tight and firm, the bird should 
be caught and its tail immersed in pure water (warm is best), 
and dried with a clean cloth, taking care to compress the 
feathers firmly during the operation. If the feathers show a 

374 The Canary Book. 

little rough (the result of too quick drying), endeavour to induce 
the bird to take a bath; this can often be done by sprinkling 
a few drops of water over it from the tips of your fingers. 
Five or six days before a show feed your birds with stimulating 
food, such as egg and bread, with a little hemp seed, maw seed, 
and groats ; and if you add a few drops of whisky or brandy 
to the drinking water on the day the birds are sent off it will 
prevent them taking cold, and will keep them in good spirits 
during the journey. 

Crested birds require to be groomed every day for a 
week before being sent off. Brush the crest carefully, and as 
gently as possible, with a perfectly soft tooth-brush, and if there 
are any troublesome or wayward feathers that do not lie so 
smoothly as they might, put a dram of spirits of wine into a 
small bottle, add to it twenty drops of almond oil and one 
ounce of rose-water, and moisten the brush with this before 
using it. Other things are used by some fanciers, such as a 
weak solution of gum arabic, &c.; but when birds require this 
they are not legitimate candidates for the show bench, as they 
require " faking," which is a dishonest practice. 

In the case of Belgian canaries they must be trained to get 
into " position " (see Chapter on the Belgian canary). If " Scotch 
fancy," they must be taught to " travel " (vide Chapter on this 
variety). Lizards and London Fancy canaries require much care 
in handling, so that no feathers be knocked out. They should 
be trained to run from one cage to another by using a piece 
of stick; or placing the cages together with the doors open, 
until they get accustomed to go from one cage to the other 
of their own accord. In the case of Lizard canaries too much 
cayenne must not be given or the colours will run, and so 
disfigure them that they will not be eligible for the show 

Whenever birds are received from a show they should be 
placed in a warm room for a day or two, and fed liberally on 
the same diet that is recommended in preparing them for the 
show bench, and the addition of a few drops of spirit to their 
drinking-water, or half a teaspoonful of sherry wine, will be 

Preparing Birds for Exhibition. 375 

found very beneficial, often preventing them going into the 
moult. If they appear to have caught cold on the journey 
add a little cayenne to the egg food, and instead of the spirit 
of wine add twenty to thirty drops of the spirit of nitre to the 



CANARY societies have existed is this country for a great 
number of years, and there are few towns, I should imagine, 
throughout the length and breadth of England at least, if 
not of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, that cannot boast of an 
institution of this sort. Formerly the whole of these societies 
were of a purely conservative character, being restricted not 
only to the towns in which they were held, but, so far as the 
exhibitions held in connection with them were concerned, they 
were conserved to the sole use and benefit of the members 
forming the society. The main objects in promoting these 
institutions were undoubtedly to bring together in close and 
friendly intercourse the principal breeders and fanciers of 
canaries, and to diffuse among tnem a spirit of brotherhood 
and friendly feeling, as well as to infuse a spirit of emulation 
for the advancement of the canary cause. 

These societies hold their meetings usually at an inn or 
tavern, and have an arrangement with the proprietor or landlord 
to have a room appropriated for their especial use; this is 
invariably conceded without demur. 

The legitimate meetings, viz., those set apart for the trans- 
action of the society's business, are held monthly, in the case 
of a "close show society," but the members thereof, which 
consist chiefly of the working classes, are generally drawn every 
Saturday evening to the inn where these meetings are held, 
and there discuss freely all topics pertaining to their favourite 

Canary Societies y and Close and Open Shows. 377 

pastime; and this is, in my opinion, the only drawback to 
these and other kindred societies, as they are calculated to 
lead men into habits of intemperance; but where an "open" 
or " all England " show society exists this evil can be obviated 
almost entirely. As it is my intention to give all the details 
connected with the different systems of managing each, it is 
not necessary for me to offer any further remarks here on 
this part of the subject. One thing may be said in favour 
of the " close show societies," and that is, they are both instruc- 
tive and entertaining, for the members, after the business of 
the meeting has been duly transacted, enter into a general 
conversation, the chief topic, as a matter of course, being 
canaries and their kindred species, and some member is almost 
invariably ready to relate something which he conceives to be 
new, or appeals to some older and more experienced member 
of the society for his opinion on some particular method of 
breeding, feeding, or what not, and new theories are often 
propounded in this way, and freely discussed for the edification 
of all present, and juveniles in the " fancy " can often gather 
a great deal of information which they need by this means. 
But for the fact of their being held at taverns, these 
meetings are highly favourable to the progress and well-being 
of this delightful and innocent recreation. At the end of the 
year a show is held in connection with each " close show " 
society, restricted to subscribing members only, and at its 
termination a supper is mostly held, and this is got up in 
the " landlord's best style " of course, and a convivial evening 
is spent. 

To begin a society of this kind it is necessary, in the first 
place, for one or two of the most intelligent or prominent 
members of the " Fancy " to wait upon all the known lovers 
and admirers of the canary, and to inform them of the project, 
and to request their attendance at such a place or inn as may 
be considered most suitable and likely to meet the approval 
of the majority at least of those people who, it is anticipated, 
tvill become members and office bearers. Be sure that the inn 
is one of good repute, and in a respectable neighbourhood. 
If the landlord is a fancier of birds, so much the better, as 

378 The Canary Book. 

he will be able to understand the requirements of the associa- 
tion fully. In any case, you must state the circumstances 
in detail, and make some preliminary arrangements with him. 
After your first meeting you will be able to ascertain whether 
there is a reasonable prospect of establishing a society, and, 
if there is, then a private room, no doubt, will be readily 
granted to hold all special meetings in. 

It will be found in nine cases out of ten that the first meeting 
will be badly attended, several fanciers prognosticating that 
it will be a failure; but as soon as ever it goes forth that 
it has been decided to form an institution of this sort they 
will all flock to the rendezvous to join it. A sufficient 
number of members having collected, some one must propose 
a chairman. The person chosen to fill this office should be 
fully acquainted with the duties required of him, and be able 
to explain the objects of the society, its aim, and how it is 
proposed to manage it, in a clear and intelligible way. After 
this has been done, propositions can be made, and the feasibility 
of the scheme fully discussed. 

If it is decided to establish a society of this sort, then a 
secretary must be appointed, either permanently or pro tern., 
and likewise a president, a treasurer, and a committee; but, 
having fixed upon a secretary, the other office bearers can be 
elected at a subsequent meeting. The president, secretary, and 
treasurer must act in conjunction with the committee, which 
should consist of not less than six members, exclusive of presi- 
dent, secretary, and treasurer; but this is not imperative. 

The secretary must keep a diary in which he will record 
all the propositions that are brought forward by the different 
members, and will see that those which have been carried 
by a majority are acted upon. He will likewise form a code 
of rules, which he must hand to the president of the society, 
who will submit them at the first meeting after the association 
is fairly established, for the approval of its members. Each 
rule must be put to the meeting separately, and if an amend- 
ment is moved by any member, he will proceed to put such 
amendment to the meeting, and the secretary will record 
the ayes and noes for or against it. He will then put the 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 379 

original rule, and, if the majority is m favour of it, it will 
remain unaltered, but if, on the contrary, the majority is in 
favour of the amendment, then the rule must be altered 
accordingly. After the rules have been fully discussed and 
approved, they should be printed, and each member supplied 
with a copy on payment of sixpence, to assist in defraying 
the expense of printing them. 

The following will be found to embrace all that is required 
in a code of regulations for the purpose of conducting a 
society of this description in a satisfactory manner : 


Rule 1. That this society shall be called the Ornithological Society. 

2. That it shall consist of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and 
a committee, to be chosen by a majority of the members composing the meetings, 
provided always that they form at least a quorum. The officers so elected to serve 
twelve calendar months, to be computed from the termination of the society's 
annual show in each year. 

3. Five members are to constitute a quorum, and the meetings of the society are 
to take place on the first Thursday in each month at the place appointed, at eight 
o'clock in the evening, for the transaction of business. 

4. The duties of the president or vice-president shall be to keep order, and to 
submit any proposition made by any member to the meeting for approval or 
rejection. No member to be allowed to address the meeting except through the 
president or vice-president, who shall rule him in or out of order, or whether his 
question is relevant or not. Any member infringing this rule to be fined sixpence, 
to go to the funds of the society. The vice-president to act only in the absence of 
the president. 

5. The secretary must keep a diary or minute book, in which he will be required 
to record the business transactions of each meeting, and likewise to keep a debtor 
and creditor account of all receipts and disbursements made on behalf of the 

6. The treasurer is to receive all moneys and pay all bills on behalf of the 
society, and to keep an account of the same, and in conjunction with the secretary 
to make out an annual balance sheet, to be submitted for the inspection and 
approval of the committee. 

7. That the committee be empowered to transact the business of the society, 
and to hold meetings at other times than those specified, when they deem it 
expedient to do so, and in such cases it will be the duty of the secretary to acquaint 
each member of the committee, individually, of the day and hour at which such 
meeting will be held. Any member, being an office bearer, failing to attend 
either the regular or special meeting without giving a full and satisfactory reason 
for so doing, to be fined fourpence, the amount to go to the benefit of the society's 
general fund. 

8. Any person desirous of becoming a member of this society must be proposed 
by one of its members, and the proposition duly seconded by another ; he wilJ 

380 The Canary Book. 

then be balloted for at tbo following meeting, and, if elected, he will have to paj 
the sum of two shilling's and sixpence as an admission fee, to assist in defraying 
the expenses of the society. 

9. Any person wishing to become an honorary member only, can do so on 
payment of the sum of five shillings annually ; and in this capacity he will 
be permitted to attend the meetings of the society, and will be eligible to 
hold office, should he be elected ; but he will not be allowed to exhibit birds at 
the shows of the society as a competitor. 

10. All members of this society are to be resident in the town of or 
its environs. 

11. Each member shall pay a subscription of sixpence monthly, which shall go 
towards a prize fund and for assisting to defray the expenses of the society. 

12. The secretary shall, from time to time, receive such remuneration for his 
services as the committee think fit, but no other officer shall be paid for services 
rendered to the society, without the authority or sanction of three-fourths of the 
subscribing members. 

13. All propositions made at any of the society's meetings to be disposed of on 
a show of hands, the result to be taken by the president or vice-president ; and 
where a dispute arises a recount shall be taken by the secretary, which shall be 
final, unless there be an unexplained discrepancy between the counts, when a count 
out can be demanded by the proposer or seconder of a motion : in this case the 
members must divide. 

14. That a show be held annually in connection with this society, to take place 
on the of in each year, and that any member, not being iu 
arreai'S with his payments, such as fees, subscriptions, or fines, and who has 
conformed with the rules of this society in every particular, shall be entitled to 
exhibit birds. 

15. No member will be allowed to exhibit any bird at any of the society's shows 
except such birds as have been bred by himself, and are his own bond fide property 
at the time of exhibition. Any member infringing this rule shall be expelled from 
the society, and shall forfeit all benefits accruing therefrom, whether in prize 
money or otherwise.- 

16. Any members desirous of competing for prizes at any of the society's shows 
must give due notice of their intention to do so to the secretary, at the first 
monthly meeting after the bird or birds intended to be entered attain the age of 
three weeks; and they will be required to furnish such information relative to 
such bird or birds as the secretary may deem necessary. All such notices shall be 
handed to the president, who will announce the same at the first meeting after 
their receipt. If the committee consider it expedient to appoint two or any other 
number of their body, as a deputation to visit the homes of any member or members 
intending to exhibit, for the purpose of noting more fully the particulars of the 
specimens announced for competition, it shall be competent for them to do so. 
The last night for receiving any entry to be fixed at the meeting held in the month 
of July. All birds entered must be under twelve months old. 

17. Every member of this society who has entered a bird or birds for exhibition 
shall be required to sign a declaration, certifying that such bird or birds as entered 
by him are his property, and were bred by himself, such certificate to be made and 
handed to the secretary of the show not later than 10 a.m. on the morning of 
exhibition, and must be in the following form: 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 381 

I, , do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare that the bird (or birds) 

entered by me for competition at the Ornithological Society's Show, of 

which society I am a duly appointed member, was (or were) bred by myself, and is 
(or are) at this present time my bona fide property ; and, furthermore, that the 
Raid bird (or birds) is (or are) under twelve months old. 

Witness, Signed, 

Any member making' a false declaration, or exhibiting a bird or birds contrary 
to the spirit or intention of these rules, shall, on proof thereof, be expelled from 
this society, and shall forfeit all prize money and claims of every description 
against the society. 

18. If any member is more than three months in arrear of payments of any kind 
he will be fined the sum of sixpence ; and if this sum, together with all other 
arrears then dne, be not paid to the secretary or treasurer on or before the 
following meeting night, then it shall be competent for the committee (unless a 
satisfactory reason can be assigned) to expel the said member without further 
consideration from the society. 

19. Any person who has been expelled from this society for an infringement of 
any of its regulations shall not be eligible for re-election before the end of the 
current year in which the expulsion takes place. 

20. The place of exhibition to be decided upon by the committee of management 
at least one month before a show takes place, and all members will be required to 
deliver their birds at or before 8.30 a.m. on the morning of the show to the person 
appointed to receive them. Every member who has entered a bird or birds for 
competition will be furnished with a card or label for each separate entry by the 
secretary, naming the class, variety of bird, and number of such entry ; and he 
will bo expected to affix these labels to the cages containing the birds answering 
such particulars prior to his delivering the specimens on the morning of the show. 
All birds must be shown in separate cages, and any birds entered in a wrong class 
will be excluded from competing. A card or list, containing the names and 
numbers of the different classes for which prizes will be awarded, must be hung 
up in the " club room " on the nights of each meeting after the schedule has been 
arranged and approved for the information of the member.*, and the secretary 
sliall furnish to any member any further particulars he may reasonably require. 
No member will be permitted to enter the show room except those who are engaged 
in the arrangements^ until after the birds have been judged and the show is 
declared open. All members are to be admitted free of charge. 

21. The judges are to be elected by a majority of the members of the society, at 
a meeting called specially for that purpose. No judge to be allowed to enter the 
show room until the arrangements are fully completed, and no member of the 
society will be permitted to be present during the time the judge or judges are 
performing their duties. If a judge desires to ask a question, the secretary, 
accompanied by a member of the society, will attend together to answer his query. 

22. The judges will be empowered to withhold a prize where they have reason 
for suspecting that a bird has been fraudulently tampered with ; but it will bo 
their duty to bring such a case before the committee, who will decide thereon. If 
the bird belongs to a member of that body, he (the member) must retire during 
the inquiry. 

23. All birds with clipped, drawn, or artificially coloured plumage, if detected, 
will be disqualified, and the owner of such bird shall forfeit all prize moneys, and 

382 The Canary Book. 

be expelled the society without further consideration, and any member who has 
been so expelled shall not be eligible for re-election. 

24. The decisions of the judges shall be final, except in cases where a bird is 
found deficient in plumage or has been tampered with. All such cases shall be 
decided by the committee. 

25. No joint partners will be allowed to become members as such ; but where 
two persons have joined together to breed and exhibit birds, they must divide their 
stock equally, and enter as if they were separate fanciers. 

26. The secretary will be authorised to order a sufficient number of prize cards, 
which will be affixed to the cages of the winning birds ; but no commendation cards 
will be printed at the expense of the society. 

27. The amount of prize money and number of prizes shall be arranged by the 
committee of management, due regard being had to the expenses incurred by the 
society, such expenses to be paid before the distribution of the prize money; 
and should any deficiency appear, it will be deducted from each successful com- 
petitor in a proportionate degree, according to the amount of prize money he 
has won. 

28. It shall be competent for the committee, with not less than a quorum of its 
members present, to frame any bye-law to meet a case of emergency ; and, further, 
the president shall, at any meeting of the society where an equal division of 
members has taken place in regard to any motion, be allowed to give a casting 
vote in addition to his own vote as a member of the society. 

29. It shall be competent for any member, being an office bearer, to resign his 
office at any time by giving his written resignation to the secretary, and the 
members of the society, at the following meeting, shall proceed to appoint a sub- 
stitute in his stead. 

30. Any member who shall conduct himself in an unbecoming manner during 
any of the society's meetings, or who shall use intemperate and improper Linguage 
to a brother member, or to any office bearer, judge, or other person, during tbe 
exhibition, or who shall smoke or annoy any member or other person visiting the 
exhibition, shall be fined a sum not exceeding two shillings and sixpence, and 
may be suspended from membership or expelled the society at the discretion of 
the committee. 

31. That the exhibition shall be held for one or two days, as may be decided b.r 
a majority of the members of the society, and that the public be admitted oi> 
payment of a charge for admission to be fixed by the committee of management, 
the proceeds to be applied towards the liquidation of the society's expenses. 

32. That it shall be competent for any member of this society to report to thf 
secretary any case of supposed fraud, in bird transactions or otherwise, perpetrated 
by any of its members ; and the secretary, on receipt of such complaint, shall call 
a meeting of the committee of management, who shall, if they deem fit, depute 
one or more members to investigate the charges and report the result. If there 
appear any just ground for the complaint, then the person so accused shall be 
called upon for an explanation, and if it prove unsatisfactory the committee shall 
have power to suspend or expel him, as they shall think proper ; but if, on the 
contrary, the complaint should prove frivolous, then the member making sucb 
complaint shall be fined the sum of two and sixpence, and receive a public censur* 
at the next meeting of the society. 

33. This society shall not be dissolved so long as six members can be found who 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 383 

are able and willing to undertake the duties and responsibilities required for the 
transaction and management of the business of the society. 

34. At the termination of each exhibition in connection with this society a 
supper shall be held, and each member shall be admitted on payment of two 
shillings and sixpence, and non-members on payment of five shillings each. Prior 
to such meeting the secretary shall prepare a statement of the society's prospects, 
showing its progress or retrogression, as the case may be, such meeting and 
supper to take place within two weeks from the closing of the show. The minutes 
of all the meetings held throughout the year to be produced on this occasion, and 
such as may be considered necessary shall be read over to the members. 

35. No alteration shall be made in any of the society's rules unless due notice 
thereof shall have been given previously to each member, and unless it takes place 
at a general meeting and be approved by a majority of the members then present ; 
in all such cases a full quorum must be in attendance. 

36. That these rules be printed, and each member supplied with a copy on pay- 
ment of sixpence. 

'* Close " shows are being superseded rapidly by the " open " 
or " all England " shows. Nevertheless, they answer admirably 
for fostering among the members composing them a spirit 
of enterprise and zeal, as well as schools of instruction, and 
they are well adapted as a groundwork for promoting the 
establishment of "all England" show societies, and for pre- 
paring fanciers for more extended and enlightened views. 
Beside these advantages, they will be found an excellent means 
for teaching those connected with them how to conduct a 
show in a methodical and systematic manner, for without 
this knowledge confusion and disorder are certain to prevail ; 
furthermore, they are likely to cherish a feeling of confidence 
among their members, which is very necessary in order to 
manage an "open " show with satisfaction and success. 

OPEN SHOWS. Many years ago, I used to look upon all 
" close " show societies as narrow and selfish in principle 
and upon these grounds I condemned them. About thirty - 
five years ago, in conjunction with one or two others, who 
were favourable to my views, I got up a show "open to all 
England." The prizes were of a liberal character, and the 
show was held in a public hall, in a large and prosperous town 
in the North of England. Music was introduced as a further 
attraction in order to gain public patronage, but the Fates 
were against us, and the speculation was a " losing game." 
So far as the number of birds entered for competition was 

384 The Canary Book. 

concerned, the show was successful enough, but the weather 
was wretched, for the rain came pelting down in torrents, 
at short intervals, during the whole time the exhibition was 
open, and consequently the attendance of the public was of 
the most meagre description possible. I acted as secretary, 
and the lesson which I learnt was not readily forgotten by 
me, nor by other individuals, I should imagine, who were 
likewise interested in the undertaking. However, after the 
lapse of a few more years, and with the infusion of "new 
blood " among us, we ventured to get up another upon a more 
extended scale, and this was attended with better success, 
and it continued to prosper for a little while; but through 
a too reckless expenditure and too liberal a programme, it 
ultimately proved a failure and its members had to "pay 
the piper." Since that time I have had a good deal of expe- 
rience in getting up shows, and having been permitted to 
exercise my own discretion almost entirely in managing a 
new society, formed by myself, in a different town to the 
one previously referred to, and which has on every occasion been 
attended with brilliant success a good balance having been 
left in hand after the conclusion of each show, after every 
expense was satisfactorily liquidated, and this, too, in the 
face of a liberal programme and no niggardly " cheeseparing " 
policy in the management I will proceed, for the benefit 
of those fanciers who have repeatedly been called upon to 
put their hands in their pockets and pay large sums to make 
up the deficiencies caused by losses incurred by exhibitions 
of this sort, to detail fully the plan which I adopted, and which 
has been so far attended with beneficial and satisfactory 
results ; and if the advice given be strictly followed, any show 
conducted with energy and determination will, I am con- 
vinced, be a success. 

One of the principal requirements in commencing an " open " 
show is to get a good secretary, for much depends upon 
this functionary for the success or otherwise of the under- 
taking. What is required is a sober, steady, industrious, 
intelligent man, active in mind and body, of good address, 
bland and conciliatory manners, and capable of expressing 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 385 

himself in a gentlemanly and becoming style, for it will 
be part of his duty to enter into correspondence with 
the elite of the town and neighbourhood where the show is 
about to take place, asking them for their patronage 
and support ; and if they were to receive a rude or badly- 
constructed missive, badly written, it would be calculated 
to hinder rather than facilitate the object sought to be 

OFFICERS. There is no necessity for a code of rules for a 
society of this description. In the first place, a few fanciers 
meet together and decide to have a show, to be " open to all 
England," They then confer together, and select some person 
whom they consider most suitable to fill the office of secretary. 
One or two such individuals are usually to be found in most 
towns of any importance ; but they are not always willing 
to act in that capacity, for it is both a laborious and an 
unthankful office. However, if they are of an enthusiastic 
temperament and are in good health, they rarely refuse when 
pressed, and more particularly if they are flattered a little, 
for all men are more or less vain enough to show a little weak- 
ness in this direction; and, if a man is not naturally an 
enthusiast, then he is unsuited for such an occupation. A 
secretary having been duly appointed and a day and place 
fixed to hold a meeting, it will be his duty to send a written 
notice, or call upon those fanciers personally whom he con- 
siders most capable of assisting him in carrying out the pro- 
ject. Halfpenny post-cards will be found exceedingly useful 
for giving notice to the office bearers whenever the secretary 
thinks it desirable to consult them upon any subject on which 
their advice appears to him necessary. 

It is important that a respectable hotel should be selected 
for the purpose of holding meetings, &c., and not a low public- 
house, as is sometimes the case. 

The next consideration of moment is to fix upon a president, 
and afterwards a vice-president. The office of president is 
simply honorary, but it is most desirable to have a gentleman 
of affluence and position, well known and highly esteemed 
to fill it, for obvious reasons. Having decided upon some 

2 c 

386 The Canary Book. 

one with the requisite qualifications resident in the town, 01 
closely adjacent thereto, where the exhibition is about to talce 
place, one or two influential members who are interested in 
its welfare should be deputed to wait upon this personage 
and explain the matter to him, and endeavour to obtain his 
consent to undertake the appointment, or the secretary could 
write to him something after this fashion : 

Sir (that is, if he is an untitled gentleman, but if titled, then address according 

to his title), I am directed by the committee of the Ornithological 

Association to inform you that, at a meeting of its memhers, held in the 

Hotel on the inst., you were unanimously elected to the office of president of 

the aforenamed society. I may inform you that it is merely a post of honour, and 
does not entail any service of any description. If you will kindly inform me 
at your earliest convenience whether it is agreeable to you to accept the office, I 
shall feel greatly indebted for your kindness. I have, &c., your obedient servant, 

To C. London, Esq. N. N., Hon. Sec. 

Botheram, Sept. , 187. 

Having met with a suitable president, it will behove you 
in the next place to appoint a vice-president, or chairman ; 
a man holding a good position in society, and one likely to 
be esteemed and respected, so that he will have no difficulty 
in maintaining order an essential consideration at all times. 
He must be acquainted with the duties which will devolve 
upon him. Having secured the services of some one likely 
to fill this office satisfactorily, a treasurer must be chosen. 
I hardly need point out, I should imagine, that it is desirable 
to have a highly respectable and thoroughly trustworthy person 
to fill this important office. Beyond these officers all thai 
is needed is a committee of management, consisting of six 
or eight fanciers, men of good repute and respectability. Do 
not have more, for there is an old saying, which is as true 
as it is ancient, that " Too many cooks spoil the broth." These 
preliminary arrangements completed, a list must be compiled, 
which should include all the ladies and gentlemen in your 
town and district who are likely to become patrons, which 
means, of course, subscribers. 

PATRONS. I have always found the aristocracy of this 
country willing to lend a helping hand to their fellow men 
to curry out an object of this kind ; at least, I have found 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 387 

but few exceptions to this rule, either in England or 
Scotland (I have never tried Ireland or Wales), among 
that class of people who are justly entitled to rank among 
the nobility of our land the great " Upper Ten " and these 
exceptions are mostly either eccentric or crotchety individuals, 
but more frequently parvenus. 

The plan I adopt in asking for patronage and subscriptions 
is to send letters, and I think it by far the best, although it 
entails a good deal of labour upon the secretary. The following 
is a specimen of an application of this kind (presuming the 
person applied to to be a peer of the realm) : 

B , Sept., 187. 

My Lord, At a meeting of the committee of the Ornithological 

Association, held in the K A Hotel on the inst., it was resolved to hold 

an exhibition in or ahout the month of November next in connection with this 
society, and I am directed to communicate this fact to your lordship, and to ask 
for your lordship's patronage and support, which would be cordially received and 
highly esteemed by its members. The president of the association is C. L., Esq., 
and the treasurer O. P., Esq. An early reply from your lordship would be 
esteemed an especial favour. I am, my lord, your lordship's most obedient 
servant, N. N., Hon. Sec. 

To the Rt. Hon. Lord H . 

It is hardly necessary for me to point out that it is advan- 
tageous to get as many patrons as possible, for the success 
of the undertaking depends very much upon this extraneous 
aid, as few patrons will subscribe less than a guinea, and none 
less than half a guinea, whilst some will give two guineas ; in one 
case I knew three to be given, but this is quite exceptional, 
the rule being one guinea. Besides the acknowledged aristocracy 
resident in a town and neighbourhood, if a corporate body 
exists, the patronage of the mayor, sheriff, and other official 
dignitaries should be secured if possible. This is best done 
by a select deputation waiting upon them personally. Two 
or more members should likewise be chosen to wait upon the 
principal tradesmen and shopkeepers resident in the town 
where the show is held to solicit subscriptions. All patrons 
and subscribers of half a guinea and upwards must be furnished 
with a family ticket i.e., a ticket to admit the entire household, 
and to remain in force during the whole time the show is open. 
These tickets must be printed specially for the occasion. 

2 c 2 

388 The Canary Book. 

MEETINGS GENERAL BUSINESS. The first meeting should 
be held six or eight weeks prior to the time fixed upon to 
hold the show. Four or five, or six meetings at most, will 
suffice to complete the arrangements. Sixteen or eighteen 
days will probably elapse between the first and second meetings, 
unless the secretary has received replies from all 'the ladies 
and gentlemen he has written to on the subject. If he fails 
to receive an answer from anyone within fourteen days, he may 
safely conclude either that his communication has been over- 
looked, forgotten, or ignored, or that the person written to is 
absent from home. It will be advisable under these circum- 
stances to write a polite note to the absentee, calling attention 
to his former letter ; but this will seldom happen, for with one 
or two exceptions I have always received a prompt, and, I am 
happy to say, satisfactory reply to my applications in less than 
ten days, and, in most cases, in less than a week. Until you 
are in receipt of these replies, and can form some estimate of 
the probable amount of aid that you are likely to derive from 
this source, it will not be prudent to issue a programme, for the 
arrangement of the latter must be governed in a great measure 
by the result of your success in obtaining subscriptions. It 
must not be forgotten, when a reply is received announcing 
that the writer will be glad to become a patron of the 
society, or a letter inclosing a subscription, to send a 
suitable acknowledgment thanking the donor on behalf of the 

Among other things, the secretary must supply himself with 
a diary, in which he will note the day and hour of each meeting, 
and record therein the names of all members present and absent 
on each occasion ; he will likewise detail fully all the resolutions 
and other matters of business transacted at each meeting. The 
minutes of a former meeting must always be read over as a 
preliminary proceeding at the one immediately subsequent 

Although it is quite unnecessary to frame a code of rules 
for conducting a society of this description, it should be tacitly 
understood by every person holding office that, in the event 
of a deficiency arising, each member is personally responsible 

Canary Societies^ and Close and Open Shows. 389 

to pay an equal share with his confreres to make up the loss. 
This responsibility gives an impetus to the whole machinery, 
as every member is interested in promoting the success of 
the institution. 

TICKETS. The plan to be adopted is to have a quantity 
of tickets of admission printed, in different colours, so as 
to represent at a glance the different prices. For subscribers 
of 10s. 6d. and upwards I use white enamelled cards, with an 
ornamental margin, and the words "Family Season Ticket" 
and the year printed upon them in ornamental type. For 
single admission tickets of Is. value I use an orange ground 
with the words " Admission, Is., 188 ," and have a plain 
ruled line below, on which I can sign my name. For 6d. 
single admission tickets I generally have a green ground, 
but otherwise as those just described, except the amount, 
&c., and in addition to the words mentioned, I have the 
name of the society printed on them as well. To each 
member of the committee I give so many of those tickets, 
having previously subscribed my name or initials, and I debit 
him with the number and amount. I likewise furnish penny 
memorandum books, and ask them, severally, to obtain 
all the subscriptions they can, instructing them at the same 
time that they are at liberty to furnish any subscriber to 
the amount of his or her subscription with these tickets. To 
every patron of the show I send a family season ticket, whether 
they choose to subscribe or not; but those who omit to do 
BO are not asked for their patronage on any subsequent occasion. 
I think the plan of issuing tickets a good one, as it affords 
those members who are timid a good opportunity of intro- 
ducing the subject at any rate, and it makes them feel more 
independent it gives them an opportunity of selling some 
tickets if they are too modest or bashful to crave a donation. 
From 6 to 10 should be realised in this way in a town 
with a population of from twelve to fourteen thousand in- 
habitants, and of course an increase in proportion to the 
greater population in larger towns, if this plan is vigorously 

396 The Canary Book. 

EXPENSES. A schedule of prizes ought to be framed in 
accordance with the amount of subscriptions received and 
the prospects of the association. 

To get up a show in a decent and praiseworthy manner 
will cost from 40 upwards. The following comprise the 
principal items of expenditure: Prize moneys (say, 20), use 
of hall for exhibition purposes (say, 4, this to include gas, 
fires, &c.), two men (two days at 5s. per day) to attend the 
birds, including feeding and giving them water to drink, &c., 
1 ; two men (two days at 5s. each) to collect money taken 
at door, and to check tickets, &c., 1; judges' fees, 2 2s.; 
travelling expenses, paid to judges and hotel bill for same, 
2; printing, 5; postage stamps, stationery, and sundries, 
1 15s.; advertising, 1; conveyance for taking birds from 
railway station to show room and back to station, 8s.; pro- 
fessional packers to pack birds, 15s.; amounting in all to 
40. And this is a moderate bill of costs for a respectable 
show. The printing is the heaviest item, but I like every- 
thing connected with this department well done, as it reflects 
credit upon the management, and is, I imagine, a sort of 
credential by which the respectability of a society of this 
sort is measured; bad paper, bad printing, and bad type, are 
all emblematic of vulgarity, parsimony, and bad taste at 
least, I think so. 

SCHEDULES. It will be found a tolerably safe plan in 
arranging a schedule of prizes for a bird show to keep the 
amount of prize money a few pounds within the sum total 
received in the shape of subscriptions. To meet an expendi- 
ture of 40, which we will select merely as an example, 20 
should be realised from the patrons alone and 5 more by 
donations from the public. The entrance fees may be estimated 
at 13, the charges for admissions at the doors 6, the sale 
of tickets by members 1, sale of catalogues and commission 
charged on the sale of birds 1, total 46 which would leave 
a balance in the hands of the treasurer for the following 
year of 6, and this may be considered as a very modest 
estimate indeed, as, in an ordinary way, the subscriptions, 
as well as the entrance fees, and takings at the; doors, should 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 391 

exceed the amounts just mentioned, say, in any town with 
a population of 14,000 inhabitants, but I prefer to be under 
rather than over the mark in my calculations. We will pre- 
sume that a schedule of prizes has been submitted to the 
committee for approval by the secretary and sanctioned, that 
a president and vice-president have been duly elected, and 
the place of exhibition fixed upon; that the manager of the 
hall or other building has been seen, and the days when it 
will be vacant ascertained, with the terms for three days, 
for it mu^t be taken for the day prior to the days of exhibition 
to the public. The regulations must state that all birds are 
to be at the place of exhibition on that day, for it takes a 
long time to arrange all the classes properly, and this should 
be done and the birds carefully attended to the night before 
they are to judged. By this arrangement the judges can 
begin their duties as soon as it is light enough for them 
to see the birds properly, and it will enable them to do their 
work in a calm and deliberate way, whereas, if birds are to 
be received on the morning of a show, and the arrangements 
are only completed in time to allow the judges an hour or 
so before the public are admitted, they are very apt to lose 
their equanimity, and consequently they perform their work 
in a hurried and unsatisfactory manner. If care is taken 
to explain this circumstance fully to the manager or secretary 
of the building, in which the show is to be held, two days 
only should be charged for. 

Before finally fixing upon the show days it must be ascer- 
tained beyond all doubt whether another bird show is likely 
to take place at or about the same time in any other town, 
as it is an object of great moment to avoid clashing with any 
other show of the kind, and would be likely to prove detrimental 
to both. This can be easily ascertained by referring to the 
list of shows published weekly in any of the papers which pro- 
vide for fanciers, such as the Journal of Horticulture, Live Stock 
Journal, The Stockkeeper, &c., or The Bazaar*; the last con- 
tains as full a list as any of its contemporaries. As soon as 

* The Jiazaar has a system by which a show can be advertised in its columns three times 
a week for the whole season, from the time of fixing the date until date of holding, for 10s. 

39 2 The Canary BOOK. 

the schedules have been satisfactorily arranged and the days 
of exhibition decided upon, the hall agreed for, and othei 
preliminary matters settled, let the schedules be printed 
without delay. Four hundred copies should be ordered, 
and one sent to every known exhibitor in the kingdom. 
To obtain the addresses of these, the secretary should 
write for a catalogue of each show preceding his own, or 
refer to catalogues of the previous year. With regard to 
the best time of year to hold a canary show, much will depend 
upon circumstances, but it should certainly take place between 
the months of September and February, unless it be a " nest 
feather" show, and then the month of July will be found most 
suitable. Ten days at least should elapse between the last day 
for receiving entries and the first day of the exhibition, to 
allow the secretary ample time to arrange the catalogue, &c. 

it expedient to announce the name of the judge or judges upon 
the schedule ; as to the advisability of this plan there is a 
variety of opinions. It is unquestionably open to discussion, 
hence I must refrain from offering an opinion thereon. Of 
ane thing, however, I am fully convinced, and that is the 
desirability of a change of judges occasionally, as I find it gives 
more satisfaction to exhibitors. I have sometimes thought it 
would be well to submit the names of a number of well-known 
judges, and allow each exhibitor to vote for two, and finally 
to select the one or two, as may be deemed expedient, who 
received the greatest number of votes, but even this plan is 
open to objection. Always endeavour to procure a straight- 
forward, conscientious man to act in this capacity. Some men 
are so anxious to become judges that they offer their services 
gratis, and in some cases agree to pay their own expenses as 
well. These men are generally fanciers with very limited 
experience, and are dear even on these terms, as their awards 
rarely give satisfaction to exhibitors, and they not unfrequently 
perpetrate gross blunders through ignorance. By all means 
avoid such men. 

SERVANTS. The men selected to attend upon birds during 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 393 

an exhibition should invariably be fanciers men who have 
a thorough knowledge of what they are required to do, and 
are sure to do it properly and well. It is probably the best 
plan- to employ strangers that is, people unconnected with 
the show to collect the charges for admission and take 
the checks ; at the same time, there is no serious objection to 
members of the committee being employed in these capacities 
if they are considered suitable and are willing to act. 

It is undoubtedly best to employ a man who has a convey- 
ance of his own adapted to the purpose of taking the birds 
to and from the railway station and the place of exhibition; 
but when such an arrangement is impracticable a horse and 
waggon can be employed ; Messrs. Carver and Co. will ' be 
able to supply this desideratum in most towns north of the 
Humber, I believe, and how far south of the river I cannot 
say ; be sure to arrange for a steady, reliable driver. Two 
members of the committee, at least, should accompany the 
conveyance, particularly on the return journey, to see the birds 
safely sent off. The Railway Companies will deliver the birds, 
but it is highly desirable that a member of the Show Committee 
should be in attendance on the arrival of all trains to see 
that the birds are carefully dealt with, and not delayed in 
delivery, or exposed to cold draughts unnecessarily, by being 
left on the platform or other exposed places. The Com- 
panies will likewise collect the birds for the return journeys, 
free of charge, if proper arrangements are made with the 
local station-master. I have always found these men most 
obliging in this respect, and they will attend even at a late 
hour at night without a murmur. 

ADVERTISING. Large posters, giving a full and clear 
announcement of when the exhibition is to take place, should 
be printed and freely distributed, and posted in all conspicuous 
and convenient places, at least a week before the show takes 
place. In addition to sending out schedules or programmes, 
it will be found advantageous to insert an advertisement, 
giving all particulars of the show, in at least two journals 
published in London, and those which promote the welfare of 
all persons interested in exhibitions of this sort by printing 

3Q4 The Canary Book. 

a weekly list of all coming shows should be favoured with 
these announcements. .The best papers to advertise in are : 
The Bazaar, 170, Strand, London (see p. 391); Poultry, 171, 
Fleet Street, London; and Feathered World, 273, Strand, 
London. There are a few others, but those mentioned are 
doubtless the most popular and best. The notices should be 
sent for publication as soon as the programmes are ready for 
distribution. It is customary, likewise, to advertise in each of 
the local papers published in the town where the exhibition is 
about to take place; one insertion in each paper is generally 
considered sufficient. It should appear in the week prior to 
that in which the show is to be held. There are several reasons 
why this custom should not be overlooked or neglected, and one 
is that a favourable report of the proceedings, &c., is likely to 
follow, and these notices are calculated to bring the society 
into favour and public estimation. 

POINTS PRIZES. Silver cups and other special prizes of 
considerable value are frequently offered as inducements to 
fanciers to swell their entries. At one time I was in favour 
of this scheme, but experience, that unerring monitor, has 
taught me to regard this plan as objectionable, as it is open 
to so much abuse, and is found to tempt some exhibitors to 
place themselves in a false position, which proves a means of 
deluding fanciers at a distance, who are totally ignorant of the 
real facts of the case. I have known exhibitors who have 
succeeded in obtaining these trophies not only borrow birds 
from their brother fanciers, but do even worse, for, in order 
to comply with the rule (common to all shows of this kind) 
stipulating that "all birds must be bond fide the property of 
the exhibitor," they have agreed to mock purchases, the owner 
of the bird agreeing to sell, for a mere nominal sum, to the 
exhibitor, upon condition that at the termination of a certain 
show the said bird shall be re-sold to him for the same amount 
as he received for it, and that the said vendor (real owner) 
shall be entitled to all prize moneys won by such bird in its 
own individual capacity, and, furthermore, that he shall be 
entitled to participate in a proportionate share of the said 
special prize or prizes obtained by the exhibitor, the latter 

Canary Societies^ and Close and Open Shows. 395 

further agreeing to pay all entrance fees and other costs incident 
thereto, and in some cases binding himself to pay a certain 
sum to the vendor in the event of the bird dying or being lost, 
killed, maimed, or disfigured whilst in his custody or care; 
and this transparent and palpable device is considered by 
some men as a sufficient salve for their consciences. 

Common sense should teach us that no man would withhold 
a bird from a show if he felt reasonably satisfied that it had 
a fair chance of success in obtaining a prize, and if he thought 
otherwise it is scarcely probable that he would be foolish enough 
to throw away money by entering it, unless it happened to 
be at a show held in the town where he resides, he might 
then be generous enough to send a few extra entries to swell 
the funds of the institution. If committees are wishful to 
stimulate breeders and exhibitors to greater exertions by offering 
additional inducements, why not confine themselves to medals 
of moderate value intrinsically, and offer them for the best 
birds in such-and-such classes, or to the exhibitor who gains 
the greatest aggregate number of points in certain classes which 
must be specified ? This would be an honorary distinction, 
hardly capable of being abused, and one which would be sure 
to be appreciated. There is another matter in connection with 
this subject deserving of attention. It is this. In counting 
points for extra prizes the recognised rule hitherto followed at 
nearly all shows has been to count three for a first prize, two 
for a second, and one for a third ; but I think that commended 
birds should be included as well, and in the event of this sug- 
gestion being adopted, the rule should be to count first prize 
six points, second five, third four, very highly commended three, 
highly commended two, and commended one. I feel satisfied 
that where this plan is resorted to, when cups are given, it will 
tend greatly to increase the number of entries. 

Prizes are now offered at a great many shows by the 
manufacturers of special foods for canaries and other birds 
that are fed solely upon the specific food of the vendors. 
But the question is, are all the birds that compete 
in these classes so fed ? Ah ! that is the question ! but 
there is no means of proving the fact. Nothing could 

396 The Canary Book. 

be more unsatisfactory to judges than classes of this kind, 
for birds of every known variety are eligible to compete 
together in one class, and the question naturally arises, are 
these birds to be entered on their merits as show specimens, 
or for the condition in which they are shown? Should they 
be taken out of their cages and examined to ascertain which 
are the plumpest, the best fed, and conditioned ? Are they 
on the same lines as trussed fowls and fat pigs, or what? 
Judges, in the absence of instructions to the contrary, go 
for the best bird, according to the rules for class judging, 
regardless of the amount of flesh each body may contain. 
I should not be surprised to learn that many of the birds 
exhibited in these classes have not partaken of a whole 
penny packet of the food upon which they are presumed to 
have been reared; and so far as legitimate fanciers are 
concerned, the whole proceeding appears to be a farce, 
and a mere method of advertising. Would it not be com- 
mendable for the Committee of Shows to refuse these special 
gifts on the conditions named, as they cannot be considered 
advantageous to either honest exhibitors or themselves, and 
they certainly open a wide gate for wrong doers? 

DISTRICT PRIZES. A few prizes of small amounts should 
be offered for competition to fanciers living in the town and 
neighbourhood where the show is held. A radius of five miles 
might be allowed, and the classes confined to working men or 
cottagers only. I have tried the experiment, and was extremely 
pleased with the result, as I found it had a tendency to foster 
a spirit of enterprise and emulation among this class of fanciers. 

PRIZES FOR PACKING CASES. I am of opinion, too, that it 
would be good policy on the part of committees if they were to 
offer special prizes for the two most approved packing cases 
sent to the exhibition containing specimens to be shown. 

THE COMMITTEE, THEIR DUTIES, &c. The duties of com- 
mittee men are neither so onerous nor laborious as those of 
the secretary and treasurer of a show, particularly the former, 
for upon him the weight of the work rests. They should 
render all the assistance they can to these functionaries to 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 397 

enable them to carry out the arrangements of the show in 
an efficient ' and praiseworthy manner, by endeavouring to 
raise funds, offering suggestions, and by deliberating carefully 
and thoughtfully upon all matters submitted for their approval 
or rejection, in the arrangement of a schedule of prizes, of a 
code of regulations for exhibition, in fixing upon the place of 
exhibition, in the appointment of judges, in directing the 
various items of expenditure, such as printing, advertising, &c., 
and in giving all the assistance they possibly can during the 
exhibition by unpacking the birds, and classifying them, and 
all other and similar duties, and by striving to do all in their 
power to get the birds packed and despatched to their desti- 
nations with as little delay as possible after the termination of 
the show. Each member should strive against his neighbour 
in endeavouring to set an example of cordiality, industry, and 
cheerfulness ; for when men lose their temper at these times 
it is greatly to be regretted. 

THE SECRETARY'S DUTIES. The duties of a secretary to 
a show of any kind are laborious, and are not unfrequently 
a self-imposed task. I can assure those who have never under- 
taken such an office that it is by no means a sinecure, the 
emoluments derived therefrom are nil, the work is most ar- 
duous, and the thanks of the public and exhibitors are of the 
most meagre description; but if the show is not skilfully 
managed, and there are any hitches in the way, showers of 
abuse will most likely pour in on all sides. It is, therefore, 
by no means an enviable or thankful office, but somebody 
must undertake it, or what would become of our favourita 
hobby ? 

It will be seen from the foregoing remarks that a person, 
to fill an appointment of this kind, will need to possess several 
qualifications and some virtues, and be endowed with a good 
" thick skin " beside. In addition to keeping a minute book, 
in which all the business transactions of the society at each 
meeting are to be duly recorded, the secretary will have to 
keep a book containing a debtor and creditor account ; on the 
debit side he will have to enter all sums x received on behalf of 
the society from every source, and on the credit side he must 

The Canary Book. 

record every payment, however trivial. It will likewise be his 
duty to arrange about the printing and advertising, the taking 
of a proper building for the exhibition, and, in fact, he must 
look after and arrange everything in connection with the 
carrying out of the show, as the entire responsibility, in one 
sense, rests with him ; but he must do nothing of his own 
accord everything must be submitted to and sanctioned by 
the committee of management before it is acted upon. 

FEINTING. In selecting a printer be sure to employ one upon 
whose veracity and punctuality in all matters of business you 
can confidently rely, for if there is the least delay in having 
the catalogues and awards of prizes ready, and they are 
not sent off by first post after the judges have completed 
their task to those exhibitors who have sent the requisite 
amount to procure one or more copies, you may prepare 
yourself for the receipt of a few missives containing epithets 
the reverse of complimentary. The first year is always the 
most expensive in the item of printing. You will require to 
order three or four hundred programmes, which cost about 
4s. 6d. a hundred ; two hundred and fifty forms of entry, which 
are charged at about the same rate; fifty patrons' tickets, 
which cost about 3s. 6d.; three hundred admission tickets, in 
various colours, say, 6s. 6d.; one hundred and fifty prize cards- 
first, second and third prizes different colours, 5s, ; fifty tickets 
V.H.O., one hundred H.O., and one hundred C., the lot 5s. 6d. ; 
three hundred class and prize tickets, 6s. ; and a number of large 
class tickets on a white ground, say, six inches square, according 
to the number of classes for which prizes are offered, 2s. 6d. per 
dozen ; two hundred posters bills for distribution and posting 
up in conspicuous places, announcing the particulars of the 
show demy folio, 10s. 6d. ; one hundred and fifty catalogues, 
three-quarter sheet, with covers, 2 14s. The programmes I like 
printed on tinted paper, pink, white, pea-green, and yellow, or 
purple, or blue. The prices quoted may be regarded as 
moderate, considering that they are intended to represent 
charges for first-class workmanship, good clear type, and the 
best quality of paper. The cards should be rather large, and 
neatly executed, particularly the prize cards. The printing can 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 399 

be done for much less by getting the programmes and entry 
forms combined in one sheet, and by curtailing some of the 
regulations, &c., and by using sheets instead of catalogues ; but 
I am opposed to exhibiting a parsimonious and niggardly spirit 
in this direction, as I consider it detrimental and pernicious in 
its consequences. The quantities given here are for a 
show presumed to be managed upon a tolerably liberal basis ; 
but in arranging these matters every circumstance of the 
case must be fully weighed and considered. The class tickets 
will last for years, if they are carefully preserved from show 
to show. 

It will be found a good plan to get a piece of board, about two 
and a half to three feet long and six inches wide, stained and 
varnished, or plain, with varnished edges. This is for a sort of 
advertising board; slips of paper of the same or similar 
dimensions should be ordered with the words "Bird Show" 
printed upon them; one of these should be pasted 011 each side of 
the board, which should be secured with screw nails to the side 
of the door frame at the entrance to the place of exhibition, 
allowing it to project to its fullest extent outwards to the street. 
After the show is over it must be taken down and preserved 
until again required. 

PROGRAMMES. In arranging a programme the secretary 
ought to have the names of all persons forming the committee 
printed on the title page, which will cause them to be legally 
responsible with the secretary and treasurer for any deficiency 
in the event of a show proving a failure ; otherwise they are, I 
presume, only morally bound, and if so disposed might back out 
of the concern at a moment's notice. The following specimens 
of a programme, and form and certificate of entry, will be 
found useful and instructive to those who are unacquainted 
with the mode of establishing a bird show. The regulations 
and conditions have been supplemented where it was con- 
sidered expedient and necessary, and they will now be found 
sufficient to meet all requirements. The schedule of prizes is 
a good ordinary one, and can be augmented when considered 

4oo The Canary Book. 



The First Annual Exhibition of 

Open to the United Kingdom, 

Will be held in the Victoria Hall. B , 

On Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 10 and 11, 188 . 

0. LONDON, Esq., M.P. S. BRIGHTON, Esq. 


Mrs. Mayoress. 
Lady M. 
Mrs. H. 


The Worshipful the Mayor of B. (J.P.). 
The Sheriff of B. (S.W.). 

The Earl P. 
The Earl of H. 
Capt. W. 

Mr. D. Durham. 
Mr. Y. York. 
Mr. L. Lancaster 

Mrs. P. 

The Misses H. 

Mrs. J. 

The Hon. R. B. H. 

Lord D. 

J. C., Esq , M.P. 

/ . V/.j -1JOIJ , 4M.ft* . 

The Rev. the Vicar of B. (N.M.). 

&c., &c.., &c. 


Mr. D. Derby. 
Mr. W. Warwick. 
Mr. L. Leicester. 

With power to add to their number. 


HON. SEC. : Mr. N. NORTHAMPTON, 15, Clareniont-villas, 

N.B. Exhibitors are particularly requested to examine the regulations most 

carefully, and also the schedule of prizes, in order to avoid errors in making their 



L The decisions of the judges shall be final, unless it be proved that a bird has 
been fradulently tampered with, in which case the decision shall be void, the 
committee reserving to themselves the right of adjudicating thereon. 

2. When the entries do not exceed five in any class, the first prize will be with- 
held. The judges will be empowered to withhold a prize in any class when the 
specimens are considered inferior in quality and below the regular standard. 

3. All specimens are to be bond fide the property of the exhibitor. Any person 
infringing this rule by any device shall, on proof of illegal ownership, forfeit all 
entrance fees and prize money. 

4. Specimens entered in a wrong class shall be excluded, and the entrance fee 

5. A price must be named with each specimen price to include the cage as well. 
Anyone offering the price specified will become the purchaser. No alteration in 
the prices of specimens will be allowed during the exhibition. All sales must take 
place through the secretary or other authorised member of the committee. Ten 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 401 

per cent, will be deducted from all sales. All birds claimed must be paid for at the 
time, or the claim will not be entertained. All birds claimed to be removed at the 
expense and risk of the purchaser. Where two people claim a bird simultaneously, 
the person offering the highest price shall have the preference. The surplus over 
and above the catalogue price to go to the society's funds. 

6. No bird shall be removed before the show is finally closed without a written 
order signed by two members of the committee and approved by the secretary. 

7. The amount of entrance fees must be sent with the certificates of entry, and 
post office orders are to be made payable to Mr. N. Northampton, at B . Postage 
stamps will not be taken in payment unless one additional Id. stamp be sent fov 
the amount of each separate entrance fee. No alteration will be allowed in any 
certificate after it has been received by the secretary. 

8. Exhibitors will be held responsible for the correct descriptions of the 
specimens sent, and in the event of a dispute arising after purchase, they must, 
on proof of wrong entry, receive back the bird or birds so entered, and refund 
to the purchaser the full amount paid by him, with all costs and charges incident 
thereto. In all such cases the commission charged by the society will be forfeited. 

9. The whole of the specimens must be in the Victoria Hall, B , on Tuesday, 

the 9th of November. All cages are to be addressed to the secretary, Victoria 
Hall, B . The carriage in all cases must be prepaid by exhibitors. 

10. The specimens will be returned as desired; but, in the absence of specia? 
instructions, they will be forwarded by such trains as the committee consider 
most desirable. The show room will be properly warmed and ventilated, and every 
care will be taken of the specimens sent for exhibition. They will be carefully 
packed for the return journey, but the committee will not be responsible for any 
loss or damage that may happen to them, either on the way to or from, or during 
the exhibition. 

11. No person will be admitted to the exhibition previous to its being opened, 
except those who are engaged in the arrangements. 

12. Exhibitors requiring an award of prizes must send 6Jd. in addition to their 
entrance fees. 

13. The entries will close on Saturday, October the 30th, 188. 

%3~ All prize moneys will be paid within ten days after the closing of the exhibition. 

Class. Description. First. Second. 'lliird 

1. Clear, ticked, or marked yellow Belgian 12s 6s 3s. 

2. Clear, ticked, or marked buff Belgian 12s 6s 3s. 

3. Clear yellow Glasgow Don 12s 6s 3s. 

4. Clear buff Glasgow Don 12s 6s 3s. 

5. Flecked Glasgow Don 12s 6s 3s. 

6. Clear yellow Norwich 12s 6s 3s. 

7. Clear buff Norwich 12s. .... 6s 3s. 

8. Evenly-marked yellow Norwich 12s 6s 3s. 

9. Evenly-marked buff Norwich 12s. .... 6s 3s. 

10. Ticked or unevenly-marked yellow Norwich 12s 6s 3d. 

11. Ticked or unevenly-marked buff Norwich 12s. 6s 3s. 

12. Any variety of crested yellow Norwich 12s 6s. 3s. 

13. Any variety of crested buff Norwich 12s. .... 6s 3s. 

2 D 


The Canary Book. 

SCHEDULE OF PRIZES (continued). 
Class. Inscription. First. Second. Third 

14. Golden-spangled Lizard 12s 6s 3s. 

15. Silver-spangled Lizard 12s 6s 3s. 

16. Clear yellow Yorkshire 12s 6s 3s. 

17. Clear buff Yorkshire 12s 6s 3s. 

18. Marked or variegated yellow Yorkshire 12s 6s 3s. 

19. Marked or variegated buff Yorkshire 12s. .... 6s. .... 3s. 

20. Jonque Cinnamon 12s 6s 3s. 

21. Buff Cinnamon 12s 6s. .... 3s. 

22. Evenly-marked Cinnamon 12s 6s 3s. 

23. Any other variety of canary (distinct breed) 12s 6s 3s. 

24. Goldfinch mule, evenly-marked 12s 6s 3s. 

25. Goldfinch mule, unevenly-marked 12s 6s 3s. 

26. Dark Goldfinch mule 12s 6s 3s. 

27. Any other variety of mule 12s 6s 3s. 

28. Selling class (any variety of canary, price, with X in r o M 

cage, not to exceed 15s.) / 

29. Goldfinch 8s 4s 2s. 

30. Linnet 8s 4s. .... 2s. 

31. Any other variety of British bird 8s 4s 2s 


32. Best clear or marked bird (any breed), to bel a, o<* l< 

shown solely for form, style, and condition.. / 

33. The most evenly-marked bird (any breed) 4s *!s Is. 

Entrance fees for classes from 1 to 27 inclusive will be Is. 6d. each bird, from 
28 to 31 inclusive Is. each bird. The district classes, confined to working men 
and cottagers. f-<l. each entry ; exhibitors to be resident in or within five miles 
of the town of B . Exhibitors must provide their own cages. 

Admission: Wednesday, from 1 to 6 p.m., Is. each; from 6 to 9.30 p.m., 6d. 
each; and on Thursday, from 9 to 12 a.m., Is. each; and from 12 to 6 p.m., 6d. 

The exhibition will close punctually at the times stated, and visitors are 
icspectfully requested to leave at the hours specified. 

Subscribers of 10s. 6d. and upwards will be entitled to a family season ticket. 

Children under 12 years of age and schools will be admitted at half price. 
Catalogues, 6d. each ; by post, 6jd. 








Name and Address 
of the Breeder. 

Name and Address 
of the Person from 
whom Purchased. 


I hereby enter the above birds for competition, subject to the Rules and 
Conditions of this Society ; and I most solemnly and sincerely declare that 1 
have given the fullest information in my power respecting the specimens 
entered, and in the event of my declaration being proved to be erroneous, I 
agree to forfeit all my entrance fees, and any prize money which I may have 
won ; and, furthermore, I authorize the committee to adopt any plan they uiay 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 403 

deem fit or expedient for publishing the same. I also solemnly declare that all 
the birds exhibited by me are truly and bond fide my own property, and I 

enclose the sum of to entitle me to become an exhibitor 

at this show. 


Address (in full) 


s. d. enclosed for Catalogue, &c. 

CATALOGUES. After the schedules are printed and a copy 
sent to every well-known exhibitor in the United Kingdom, 
it will be necessary to obtain and prepare a book, from which 
the catalogues will have to be printed. Great care must be 
taken in its arrangement. The book used should be about 
fourteen inches long, eight inches wide, and from half to three- 
fourths of an inch in thickness, and ruled with s. d. columns. 
On the title-page you must set forth the name of the society 
and other particulars, similar to the following specimen : 


First Annual Exhibition of 

Open to the United Kingdom, 

Held in the Victoria Hall, B , 

On Wednesday and Thursday, November 10th and llth, 188. 
Judges M. Herniman Toke, Puddletown ; Mr. Jeremiah Smasher, Bowlover. 
President C. London, Esq., M.P. I Hon. Sec. Mr. N. Northampton 
Vice President S. Brighton, Esq. | Treasurer Mr. C. Chester. 

And upon the first leaf of the book begin the heading thus : 



N.B. The cage is, in every case, included in the price of all specimens sent for 
competition. No specimen or other bird will be allowed to be disposed of 
privately, or removed during the exhibition. For addresses of exhibitors see 
index. Abbreviations : First signifies First Prize ; Second, Second Prize ; Third 
Third Prize; V.H.C., Very Highly Commended; H.C., Highly Commended; 
C., Commended. 

Then arrange the classes thus : 


Class 1. Clear, Marked, or Ticked Yellow Belgian. 
First Prize, 12s. ; Second, 6s. ; Third, 3s. 

B. d. 

C. No. 1. Mr. J. Nash, cock, age 4 months 330 

V.H.C. No. 2. Mr. S. Jones, hen, 6 months 2 C 

Second. No. 3. Mr. G. Smith, cock, 1 year 410 

II.C. No. 4. Mr. W. Thompson, cock, 16 months 500 

First No. 5. Kr. P. Brunt 10 

2 D 2 

404 The Canary Book. 

Do not begin to number them until all the entries have 
been received on November 1. 

Continue to arrange all the classes in this way, leaving a 
separate page for each class. After you have received all the 
entry forms, which should reach you on the day following that 
advertised as the last day for receiving them, you must fill up 
and despatch by post to each exhibitor a class ticket for every 
entry made. These tickets must denote the number of the 
class, the consecutive number of the entry, and the price of the 
specimen, in the order mentioned. Having completed this part 
of your duty, you must proceed to compile an index at the back 
of the book, according to the plan given below, which will be 
found so arranged as to prevent the possibility of a mistake 
being made when the re-packing commences, provided always 
that the rules herein laid down are strictly observed on all 



Con. No. of INDEX. 

No. Entries. 

1 3 Adam, Timothy, Brick-place, Battle Town 40, 51, 62. 

2 2 Abraham, Simon, Smoke-hill, Fryington 9, 55. 

3 6 Barebell, William, Possum-row, Bogglesbury 1, 2, 6, 7, 52, 53. 

4 1 Brunt, Peter, Scisson-grove, Raynortowne 3. 

5 4 Codrake, Thomas, Over-terrace, Furness 4, 5, 54, 68. 

6 8 Cauliflower, Charles, Garden-place, Orchardton 6, 7, 8, 12, 42, 

43, 56, 57. 

7 3 Duff, Nicholas, Brownlow-terrace, Wheatley 14, 15, 16. 
74 2 Dent, Isaac, Drinkwater-place, Templer-town 17, 21. 

8 1 Eagle, Edward, Dove-place, Lambourney 30. 

9 5 Easysides, Philip, Slow-hill, Snailsby 10, 11, 13, 31, 45. 

10 3 Farthing, Benjamin, Silver-street, Stirling 46, 18, 20. 

10i 7 Feast, Jonathan, The Esplanade, Bunkrun 23, 24, 25, 32, 33, 47, 48. 

11 1 Goodfellow, George, Christian Bank, Bushwell 50. 

12 2 Green, Patrick, Shiney-row, Emeralda 35, 61. 

The index should always be arranged alphabetically ; in front 
of the names you must arrange two columns of numbers. The 
first column should contain the consecutive numbers of the 
entries, beginning with number one, and afterwards continuing 
to the end of the list of exhibitors. In column number two you 
must enter the number of birds shown by each exhibitor opposite 
his name, and at the end of the address add the numbers of the 
entries according to the class arrangement of the catalogues. 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 405 

announced for the receipt of the birds yon should be in 
attendance at the place of exhibition at such times as birds 
may arrive; this you will ascertain on reference to a railway 
time-table giving the arrivals of the trains. One of the com- 
mittee, or some duly authorised person specially appointed, 
and armed with an authority in writing duly signed by the 
secretary and dated, should be in attendance at the railway 
station to receive the birds and have them forwarded to the 
place of exhibition with the least possible delay. As soon as 
they arrive they should be opened out, and the secretary or 
one of the committee-men should chalk upon each cage at 
the top the number that is opposite the name of the exhibitor 
in the consecutive column. The object in doing this is to 
save much time in packing for the return journey. 
Numbered labels would be better than chalked numbers, 
as the latter are liable to get rubbed off or defaced. By 
adopting this plan, all that is necessary for the working 
members of the committee to do is to go through the 
different classes and pick out all the cages having the same 
numbers, and place them together; they should then be 
checked off by the secretary, assistant-secretary, or some 
member of the committee who may have been specially 
selected for this duty, and finally given over to one of the 
persons who have been appointed as packers. On reference 
to the index, the number of exhibits and the class numbers 
are readily seen, and can with the least possible labour be 
checked off. The saving of time gained by the adoption of 
this method, to say nothing of the prevention of errors, is 
almost incredible. During the many years that I took an 
active part in shows, as secretary or otherwise, I never 
remember a single occurrence of a bird being wrongly sent, 
or one being left behind, and I have known instances where 
from three to four hundred birds have been carefully packed 
and sent off within three hours after the closing of the show. 
If one is wanting to complete the entry, the secretary can 
easily ascertain which bird is missing by referring to the class 
numbers in the index at the end of the name and address of 

406 The Canary Book. 

the exhibitor; he will then communicate the fact to the 
owner. It sometimes happens that a bird is taken ill at the 
last moment, and not forwarded to a show in consequence. 
In such a case the exhibitor ought to intimate the fact to the 
secretary, but this is rarely done. Those birds which are 
sent in wrappers or other covers must be carefully dealt 
with. Before the birds are unpacked someone should be 
appointed to take charge of and fold up the wrappers and 
tie the address labels for the return journey outside of them. 
The number of birds packed in each wrapper should be 
marked upon the label, for some fanciers who make large 
entries are often necessitated to send their birds in two or 
three separate packages. As soon as the wrappers are 
properly folded and labelled they should be stowed away in 
a, secure place and neatly arranged. It is a bad plan to have 
too many assistants in unpacking. There should be one person 
to open the packages ; another to place the chalk numbers on 
the cages. The secretary should tick off the entries himself* 
A fourth person ought to be deputed to arrange the birds in 
their proper classes; a fifth to feed and give them water. 
More helpers than these are superfluous, and likely to be 
productive of mischief. 

The secretary must be firm in keeping order among those 
officials entrusted to perform the various duties mentioned, 
and should prevent undue interference by one assistant with 
another, or other kind of obstructiveness. 

LATE ENTRIES. There are sure to be some late entries. 
By this I mean birds entered for competition after the 
stipulated time, and after you have arranged your catalogue 
in manuscript. Such entries are very troublesome, but it is 
quite optional with the secretary, whether he accepts them or 
not; in fact, I am not sure if he is legally justified in 
doing so without a proviso in the regulations to enable him 
to do it. About four years ago I introduced a system of 
post entries, charging an additional fee of sixpence for each 
entry for so many days after that specified for the ordinary 
closing, and I should like to see this plan more generally 
adopted, as fanciers who neglect to send their entries at the 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 407 

proper time should pay for their negligence. When you 
receive entries of this sort you must deal with them in this 
fashion. Suppose, for example, you receive two entries for 
Class 5, and the last entry in that class is numbered 47, you 
must enter the two additional birds thus: 47A, 47s, and so 
on; and in the index in this manner: Presuming the name 
of the person who has sent the late entry is Dunn, and the 
last person entered under letter D is represented by the 
consecutive number 22, you must distinguish the specimens 
entered by Mr. Dunn by adding a to the figures 22, so 
that this number will be 22^. By this simple arrangement the 
packing for the return journey, which is always looked for- 
ward to as a formidable undertaking by most people, is 
greatly facilitated, and rendered quite an easy task. 

PACKING AND RETURNING BIRDS. As soon as the show is 
concluded and the room cleared of visitors the doors should be 
all secured. In the next place, all the birds should be gathered 
together and placed in lots all the number one's, two's, and so 
on. The packers must then be told off, two being apportioned 
for each lot of birds. Three lots of packers are ample in 
ordinary cases, and, if good hands, should be able to clear out 
the place in a few hours. Each couple of packers should have 
an attendant, whose duty it is to pick out the wrappers for each 
different lot, and call out the numbers for the secretary to tick 
off each bird according to its class number. One of the packers 
will then tie each two cages together with twine, having first 
emptied the water out of the drinking tins, and hand them to 
the other packer to arrange in the cover. Whilst the packers 
are engaged sewing up the package, the attendant can be 
preparing the next lot. They should be packed consecutively, 
excepting those birds which are to be sent a long distance, as 
these should in all cases be sent off by the first train.* The 
secretary should pre-arrange matters with the station-master, 
and should furnish a list of the number of packages sent by 
eacli conveyance, or at each separate journey of the one engaged, 
and get the lists signed by the railway company's servants. 

When practicable, the ni^ht mail will in all cases be found most suitable. 

408 The Canary Book. 

other important duties to be performed beside, both before the 
opening and during the exhibition. As soon as all the birds are 
arranged, and examined to see that they are all properly classed, 
fed, and supplied with water, the room should be swept ; the 
floor should be strewn all over with damp sand or sawdust 
previous to this being done to prevent the birds getting soiled 
with dust. These preliminaries being completed, you are now 
ready to admit the judges. You should prepare for each judge 
a lead pencil and a small memorandum or judging book, in 
which you have previously written the number and heading of 
each class; request each of them (if more than one) to mark 
down the number and particulars of every bird to which they 
award a prize or commendation. With the judges you should 
send a person to act as amanuensis to them; he must not be 
an exhibitor, nor connected directly or indirectly with one. 
This person should be furnished with slips of paper, which 
must be obtained from the printer, being in reality leaves of a 
catalogue minus the awards ; he should keep behind the judges, 
and ought not to hold any communication with them whatever, 
beyond marking down the awards when they are called over. 
A boy should likewise be in attendance to tie on the prize tickets, 
under the supervision of the person attendant upon the judges 
(unless the " Field Duplicate Judging Books " are used, in which 
case an attendant is not necessary. The whole of these officials 
should be regaled, say, once in two or three hours, with some 
light refreshment whilst performing their duties. It is usual to 
consult them as to what they prefer tea, coffee, or a glass of 
sherry and a biscuit, or bread and cheese and beer. After 
every two or three classes have been judged, the boy or atten- 
dant should hand out the slips that are ready to the secretary, 
who should keep a copy of them for his own guidance, and send 
the originals to the printer; by adopting this method you are 
enabled to have your catalogues ready very shortly after the 
judges have finished their work. As soon as they have com- 
pleted their task have a good substantial dinner ready for 
them. After dinner the judges should check the catalogue 
with the books supplied them by the secretary, to see that no 

Canary Societies^ and Close and Open Shows. 409 

error has been made ; they should then sign them, having first 
certified that they are correct. These books should be retained 
by the secretary for future reference in case of any dispute. 
He will then pay them their fees and travelling expenses, 
taking a receipt for the same, unless the treasurer is present 
to do so. 

SELLING TICKETS. "With regard to the arrangement for 
selling tickets, he must give the person authorised to receive the 
admission charges so many tickets of each kind, debiting him 
with their value. Another person must be employed to collect 
these and to act as check. Instruct the latter to admit no one 
without a ticket. To distinguish between the tickets sold at the 
door and those sold by members or given to subscribers, put your 
name or initials to the latter and leave the former blank. Every 
hour or two the ticket collector or check should hand in to 
the secretary or treasurer the tickets collected by him, which 
should be sorted and entered on a sheet, and afterwards 
placed under lock and key. The secretary will likewise 
supply the ticket salesman with catalogues to sell to visitors ; 
these must form a separate account. 

CHECKING ACCOUNTS. After the show is over the secretary 
must make out a list of prize money payable to each 
exhibitor, and hand it to the treasurer ; he will likewise 
account to the treasurer for all cash he receives for sub- 
scriptions, &c., every meeting night, if the treasurer is present, 
taking his receipt for each payment in a memorandum book 
which should be used for this purpose. The secretary will 
likewise, on each show night, check over the amount of the 
takings at the door, in the presence of the treasurer and 
committee, and after counting and entering the same in his 
book, hand the money over to the treasurer, taking his 
acknowledgment as before. No false delicacy should be 
exercised on these occasions, but everything should be done 
in a straightforward business-like manner, and with exact- 
ness. The secretary will, furthermore, gather in the various 
accounts, and hand them to the treasurer for payment; when 
paid, the treasurer will hand them to the secretary, who will 

4IO The Canary Book. 

enter them on the credit side of his account before filing 

REMOVAL OP PRICES FROM CAGES. Before the judges enter 
the show room I have always made it a rule to cut off all the 
prices from the class tickets, so that they may not in any way be 
influenced in their opinion by a fancier's own estimation of his 
birds, for some judges if they observe two birds in the same 
class precisely alike, are apt to refer to the prices before 
giving their verdicts, and if not thoroughly self-reliant men 
and endowed with moral courage, they are wont to pander to 
the opinions of the owners. Another reason is, that it is 
often the means of causing a good sale for catalogues, as 
many people purchase them on purpose to get to know the 
price of the specimens; it is also a sort of key to fanciers, 
as it enables them to estimate the qualities of a judge ; for 
there are few fanciers of experience who do not know as 
well, and sometimes better, than some of those people who 
act in that capacity, the real merits and qualifications of 
their specimens. 

ORDERS FOR CATALOGUES. Whenever an exhibitor sends 
an order and prepayment for one or more catalogues, I make 
an entry in front of his name in the index thus, "1 c." or 
"2 c.," and so on, according to the number paid for ; this I 
do with red ink, to appear more conspicuous. I afterwards 
make out a list of the names and addresses of those fanciers who 
have paid for them, and as soon after as convenient I direct 
a stamped newspaper wrapper to each of them ready to fold 
the catalogue in as soon as received from the printer. When 
more than one is paid for, I put the number required 
immediately below the address in plain figures, so that they 
can be got ready in a few minutes for the post. Exhibitors 
of six birds and upwards are generally admitted to the 
exhibition free of charge. 

MISCELLANEOUS HINTS. The secretary or treasurer and one 
or two of the committee, alternately, should be in constant 
attendance to give any explanation to patrons and others 
desiring it, and to keep proper order in the show room. 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 411 

Sometimes flowers, stuffed birds, evergreens, or music are 
introduced as additional attractions, but these are merely 
accessories, and may be adopted or rejected at the discretion 
of the committee. It is sometimes considered desirable to 
have a show opened by some person in a high social position, 
and to charge an extra fee to witness the ceremony, but this 
plan has never been attended with success within my know- 
ledge. Exhibitors are in some cases admitted to the show at 
any time, when open, on payment of sixpence. No birds can 
be sold or removed without the authority of the secretary and 
in conformity with the regulations. An account of all sales 
should be kept. 

After the receipt of entries, if you find that the show is 
badly supported, write a letter to each of the principal 
exhibitors who have not already patronised your show, 
pressing them to do so ; your appeal is sure to meet with 
some responses. The Editors of Feathered World and Poultry 
will, if the entries are deficient, willingly insert a paragraph 
free of charge, stating that entries will be received until a 
later date, if the secretary requests them to do so. 

Every night that the specimens are in the show room a 
diligent search should be made to see that no cat, or person, 
is concealed on the premises, prior to the lights being 
extinguished, and the room secured for the night. Someone 
should take charge during the night, unless a hall-keeper 
resides in some part of the building, when it may be con- 
sidered unnecessary. If you find it desirable during any 
period of the exhibition to have a policeman in attendance, 
you can get one by giving timely notice to the superin- 
tendent of the town or district where the show is held. 

Be sure to see that the drinking tins are always returned 
with the cages to which they belong; this is often neglected, 
and causes annoyance and needless expense to exhibitors. 

Refreshments should be supplied to those people who are 
engaged in any arduous duties, such as packing and unpacking 
birds, arranging the tables or stands for the cages, and similar 
duties. Members of the committee should each have a family 
season ticket given to them, unless they wear favours in their 

412 The Canary Book. 

coats by which they can be easily recognised by the ticket 
collector and check-taker. 

TREASURER'S DUTIES. The duties of a treasurer to an orni- 
thological association are more confidential than onerous. He 
will be required to take charge of all moneys collected on 
behalf of the society; he will furthermore be required to pay 
all accounts, or depute the secretary to do so, incurred on its 
behalf; he must likewise keep a debtor and creditor account as 
well as the secretary, so that they will act as a check to each 
other, and be a means of preventing errors or irregularities. 
After the conclusion of the show, and all the disbursements 
are completed, he will be required to prepare a balance sheet 
in extenso, setting forth the source from which the funds have 
been derived, showing at a glance the amount received by 
subscriptions, entrance fees, sale of tickets, admissions to the 
exhibition, &c., separately, and on the debit side every item of 
expenditure should be plainly and clearly specified, so that it 
is intelligible to the meanest capacity. After it is completed 
it should be submitted to the committee for their inspection, 
information, and approval, at a special meeting called for that 
purpose. If it is satisfactory to all, it is customary for a vote 
of thanks to be accorded to both the secretary and treasurer, 
and also to the vice-chairman; but this duty devolves upon 
the committee. If a balance remains in favour of the society, 
it should be placed in the Post-office or other savings bank in 
the names of three trustees, which should always include the 
secretary and treasurer and one of the committee or the vice- 
chairman. In the event of the society being in arrears, the 
secretary and treasurer are liable to be sued in the county 
court for any debt legally contracted on behalf of the society, 
and they in turn can sue every member of the committee for 
his rateable proportion should he refuse to pay it voluntarily. 
This is, I believe, the law on the subject. 

ACCOUNTS. The specimen of a balance sheet given on p. 413 
will doubtless be found very serviceable, especially to those 
who are unacquainted with practical book keeping. The names 
used for the society, secretary, committee, and all and every 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 413 






I 8 

I 1 


o o o 





: : . : : : : : : 

g :::::::: 

a . i : . . : 
i < * ' r : I i : 

^g^ 1 : .' ' : ' 
J.2 1? *lll ^-S 

414 The Canary Book. 

name which appears not only in the account, but likewise those 
in the specimens given for arranging a schedule and catalogue, 
are, as a matter of course, imaginary or fictitious. After 
the conclusion of the meeting, the treasurer should hand over 
to the secretary all the accounts he has paid, and the balance 
sheet, which should be carefully checked, and afterwards filed. 
Sometimes auditors are appointed to examine the accounts, and 
certify their correctness ; but in a matter of this kind such a 
course appears to me to be unwarrantable and offensive, unless 
there is some just ground for adopting it, more especially when 
the appointments are purely honorary. A treasurer should 
render the secretary all the assistance in his power, as he is 
the individual on whom the brunt of the battle falls. 

SENDING PRIZE MONEY. When the prize money is sent to 
the exhibitors, an acknowledgement should be obtained. Keep 
the numbers, dates, and amounts of the Post-office Money 
Orders sent to each, so that payment can be proved if neces- 
sary. Never send postage stamps in payment of prize money, 
however small the amount, nor Postal Orders, which are not 
by any means secure. 

ADVICE TO JUDGES. Never accept an appointment to 
officiate as judge at any show unless you feel morally certain 
that there is no reason why you should not be able to fulfi] 
your engagement, as it is a great disappointment to the 
managers when a judge, after accepting office, fails to attend. 
Should you happen to feel at all unwell a few days before 
a show is about to take place, where you are under an 
engagement to act in that capacity, it will be advisable to 
communicate the fact to the secretary without delay, so that 
he may be prepared, in the event of your not being able to 
officiate, with a substitute to fill your place. Be sure always 
to be in attendance in good time on the day fixed for your 
services. If the show is held at a town situated a great 
distance from the one in which you reside, it will be best for 
you to arrive there the previous night, unless you prefer to 
travel all night, or can reach it before 9 a.m. by proceeding 
by an early morning train on the day of the show. It is not 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 415 

a- commendable practice to travel all night, as it is very 
likely to unfit a man for the proper performance of his duties. 
As soon as you accept an appointment as judge at a show, 
you should request the secretary to furnish you with a 
schedule or programme of prizes and the regulations, which 
you should read over attentively, and if there is anything 
in it which you do not clearly comprehend, write at once for 
an explanation. Before you proceed on your journey to the 
town where the show is to take place, you should prepare 
yourself with a small memorandum book, which you must 
arrange in the same way as the schedule, that is, so far as 
the classification is concerned. You should likewise write 
the word " prize " on three separate and consecutive lines, 
and also immediately below these the letters Y.H.C., leaving 
two lines on which to enter the numbers, then H.C. and C., 
acting in the same way. You then only require to fill in 
first, second, and third prizes, and the numbers of the other 
birds entitled to distinction, which saves much time. It is, 
however, generally understood that the secretary of a show 
will provide the judges with properly prepared judging books 
and a lead pencil. The Field judging books are well adapted 
for this purpose, and save much time and labour to the 
judges and secretary alike, and are not expensive. This book 
I always fill in from my own, and afterwards check it over 
with the printed catalogue. I then certify it as being correct, 
sign it, and then hand it to the secretary ; but the catalogue 
I keep, and after I return home I compare it with my own 
book; if I discover a discrepancy I write to the secretary to 
rectify it without delay. You should likewise prepare your- 
self with a good eyeglass a powerful magnifier and three 
small phials, containing tests for stained birds, one of spirits 
of wine, another of liquor of potass, and the third should 
contain a good strong solution of common washing soda, or 
a little well diluted hydrochloric acid, but unless the latter 
is properly prepared it is dangerous to use; the fumes of 
this acid will remove most dyes, but this, too, is a dangerous 
process, and should not be practised by anyone who does 
uot thoroughly understand how to use it. A pair of small 

416 The Canary Book. 

tweezers will be found useful for examining the pinion 
and body feathers, &c., of the specimens. You must like- 
wise be supplied with one or two spotless white handkerchiefs 
and a piece of nice clean cotton wadding, in case you should 
require to test the genuineness of the colour of any birds. If 
the legs of a bird are stained with a colouring matter, or the 
undernue, when blown, appears discoloured, or if the colour be 
quite uniform throughout and void of bloom, it is pretty 
evident that the bird has been tampered with. I have detected 
several in this way. Whilst you are judging be sure to 
partake of some light refreshment, but avoid alcoholic 
beverages, unless it be a glass of sherry or good bitter beer. 
After you enter the show room, and before you commence 
your duties, take a walk round the hall or room, and satisfy 
yourself that you thoroughly understand the class arrange- 
ments. If you observe any birds drooping, or any saturated 
with water from bathing, remove them to the fire to get 
warmed or dried, as the case may be, but be sure not to 
overlook them when you come to judge the classes to which 
they belong. If you find a bird in a wrong class, call the 
attention of the secretary to the fact. Always use your own 
judgment independently in giving awards ; pander to no man 
in this respect. Should there be two judges, and you fail 
to agree after carefully going into all the points of the birds 
in dispute, let the secretary appoint another person to act 
as referee to decide between you ; his opinion must be final. 
Where there are three judges, the majority must prevail. 
When you commence to judge a class of birds look them 
through very carefully, and place all the best birds that 
first strike you together ; then commence to compare and 
examine them minutely, and give your awards. Do nothing 
hurriedly, and always act conscientiously, honestly, and 
fearlessly, and with the greatest impartiality, regardless of 
all consequences ; any man who acts otherwise is unworthy 
to fill the office. There is no specific rule for judges' charges, 
but well-known and competent judges generally charge 2 2s. 
and 3 tSs. for judging a show, according to distance, say, 
between 50 and 150 miles from home, which is inclusive 

Canary Societies, and Close and Open Shows. 417 

of travelling and hotel expenses, but where the distance is 
very great a proportionate charge to cover additional railway 
fare, &c., is made. Incompetent judges are dear at any price. 
If a show is likely to prove a failure, you might give your 
services gratuitously, charging bare expenses only. 

If, on your way to a show, you happen to miss the train, 
or if a break-down or other accident should occur which is 
likely to delay your arrival at the expected time, telegraph 
to the secretary all necessary particulars, giving the time 
when you expect to reach your destination. If it should be, 
a, dull or wet day, and the light is bad, leave those classes 
judged principally for colour to the last. Proceed with 
Yorkshire Fancies or the marked classes, and always count 
the wing and tail feathers of all the prize birds shown in the 
evenly-marked classes ; if any are wanting in a specimen it 
should be disqualified. Write on the class ticket the words 
" Disqualified," Deficient in plumage/' The same rule is 
applicable to Lizards, Cinnamons, London Fancies, and Green 
birds, but in judging birds for shape, such as Belgians and 
Scotch Fancies, or even Lancashires and clear birds, this rule 
need not apply, as the loss of a tail or a wing feather would 
not imperil their chance of taking a prize ; of course, if several 
feathers are missing from the tail or wings of a show speci- 
men in any class, it would at once debar it from taking a 
prize, as the bird would not be in a fit condition to compete 
successfully. The great thing to guard against is dishonest 
practices, where birds have been systematically trimmed in 
such a way as to give them an unfair chance of obtaining a 
prize. A bird may have lost a feather by accident, and if it 
is in the cage you should mention the fact to the secretary, 
who will consult with the committee, and if they are satisfied 
that the feather has been shed whilst in their custody it 
should not be considered a disqualification, or counted as 
such. The bird should stand, but the committee should look 
well to this, as an unscrupulous exhibitor might extract a foul 
feather from the tail or wing of a show specimen and place a 
dark one (or vice versa) in the bottom of the cage, taken from 
ajiother bird. T have heard of such things being done. 

2 E 

418 The Canary Book. 

In judging Lizard canaries, handle them, and blow them 
all over, and notice particularly that the bird has not a bald 
face which has been "blacked in," and that there are no 
white feathers in the pinion covers. Examine their legs 
minutely, as they are often found to be stained, and also 
the upper mandible. In judging crested birds, see that the 
crests are not gummed down. These and a variety of similar 
dishonest practices are often resorted to by unprincipled 

In judging an " any other variety " class of canaries, you 
should select the three best specimens of each distinct variety 
shown, and place them first, second, and third, according to 
their individual merits; never giving two prizes to the same 
variety, unless much superior in merit to birds of a different 
variety; but in awarding prizes in a selling class, you should 
give them to the best birds exhibited to those of the 
greatest intrinsic value, apart from any other consideration. 

In serving as judge several times during the past twenty- 
five years at the Crystal Palace, Alexandra Palace, and many 
other important shows, I have always acted in accordance 
with the plan herein set forth, and I never was found fault 
with. Of late, I have reluctantly been necessitated to refuse 
a great many invitations to be judge at different shows, owing 
to the nature of my employment (and through ill-health), as I 
have great difficulty in getting from home. I would add, in 
conclusion: a judge should always bear in mind that he is as 
much the servant of the exhibitors as he is of the managers 
of a show, and that if he is faithful in. the discharge of his 
duties, he must act with the most studied impartiality. 



Accounts, exhibition, 409, 412. 
Advertising shows, 393. 
Age at which moult commences, 
' 163. 

Difference in, 78. 

Of birds, 192. 
Alliance, natural, 111. 
"Any other variety,' 352. 
Apoplexy, 124. 
Aspect of bird room, 86. 
Asthma, 125. 
Attendants at shows, 392. 
Aviaries, 37, 86. 
Aviary breeding, 84. 


Balance sheet of show, 413. 
Barren hens, 81. 
Bathing canaries, 80, 364, 374. 
Beads for cage doors, 37. 
Beaks and claws, long, 80, 130. 
Belgians, advice to judges of, 231. 

Author's first experience with, 

Breeding, 83, 217. 

Breeding-cages for, 18. 

Breeding variegated, 219. 

Classes for, 224. 

Constitution of, 216. 

Food for, 228. 

Getting into position, 223. 

Belgians, Importing, 215. 

Origin of, 212. 

Over rained, 232. 

Packing, for show, 230. 

Points of, 225. 

Preparing for exhibition, 227. 

Price of prize, 217. 

Bearing, 220. 

Rule^ of a society, 232. 

Running out, 222. 

Selecting, for breeding, 219. 

Show-cage for, 31. 

Show form of, 226. 

Size of, 212. 

Standard of excellence of, 227. 

Symmetry of, 226. 

Treatment of, by secretaries, 

Washing, 228. 

Best variety of canary for breed- 
ing for prizes, 191. 
Bird house, detached, 87. 
Bird rooms, 86. 

Bird.->, canaries learning the songs 
of other, 190. 

Declining to sing in the 
presence of other birds, 190 

Out of condition, 71. 

Sib-bred, 93. 

Timid, 190. 

Unhealthy, 71. 
Book, stud, 67, 182. 
Border Fancy, 349 : 

Class for, 350. 

Judging, 350. 



Border fancy, origin of, 350. 

Points of, 349. 

Standard of excellence, 350. 
Bowels, inflammation of the, 136. 
Box, moulting, for London Fancy, 


Boxes, nest, 62, 115. 
Branches of trees for aviaries, 85. 
Breaking cats to birds, 185. 
Breeding, 51. 

Aviary, 84. 

Belgians, 83, 217. 

Birds for exhibition, 71. 

Cage?, 16, 52, 116. 

Cinnamons, 268, 275, 280. 

Difficulties experienced in, 70. 

For prizes, best variety for, 

From young hens, 72. 

German canaries, 355. 

Glasgow Dons, 238. 

Goldfinch and canary mules, 
92, 107. 

Green canaries, 353. 

Lancashire Coppies, 254. 

Late, 89. 

Lizards, 332. 

London Fancy, 102, 346. 

Manchester Coppies, 254. 

Modern Cinnamons, 275. 

Modern crested Norwich, 316. 

Modern plainhead Norwich, 

Modern Scotch Fancy, 244, 

Mules, 91, 105. 

Norwich Fancy, 103, 287, 310, 

Pairing for, 54. 

Place, selection of, 76. 

Scotch Fancy, 238, 244, 250. 

Season, 55. 

Selecting canaries for mule, 

Variegated Belgians, 219. 

Yorkshire Fancy, 259. 
Broken limbs, 127. 
Bronchitis, 128. 
Brood, first, 77. 
Broods, second and other, 82. 

Brown linnet and canary mules, 

Buffs, double, for mule breeding, 


I Buyers, caution to, 148. 
I Buying birds, 197, 200. 

Cages, 1. 

Breeding, 16, 52. 

Colouring and Painting, 12 

Doors for, 17, 37. 

Drawing-room, 118. 

Exhibition, 25. 

Flight, 36. 

For mule-breeding, 116. 

For singing birds, 35. 

For young mules, 117. 

Making, 2. 

Show, 25. 

Staining, varnishing, polish- 
ing, 14. 

Travelling, 34. 

Wiring, 7. 

Wood for, 5. 
Cake, saffron, 199. 
Canary, common, 349. See Bordei 

Original, 209. 

Societies, 376. 
Cases, packing, 47. 
Catalogues of shows, 403. 

Orders for, 410. 
Cataract, 147. 
Catarrh, 129. 
Catching rats, 204. 
Cats, breaking, to birds, 185. 
Causes of disease, 122. 
Caution to purchasers, 200. 
Cayenne feeding, 170. 
Checking accounts after shows, 


Cheverell goldfinches, 101,109. 
Chorea, 129. 
Cinnamon, 266. 

Breeding, 268. 
Classes, 272. 

Crested, 271. 



Cinnamon, crosses with, 267. 

Points of, 272. 

Preparing for exhibition, 371. 

Show-cages for, 25, 33. 

Standards of excellence, 273. 

Variegated, 271, 273. 
Cinnamon, modern, 274 : 

Breeding, 275. 

Improving, 278. 

Mongrels, 276. 

Size of, 2 75. 

Standard of excellence, 279. 
Cinnamon, crested, 280 : 

Breeding, 280. 

Judging, 282. 

Cinnamon, evenly-marked, 283. 
Classes, Belgian, 224. 

Border Fancy, 349. 

Cinnamon, 272. 

Glasgow Don, 238. 

Lancashire Coppy, 255. 

Lizard, 336. 

London Fancy, 347. 

Manchester Coppy, 255. 

Mule, 359. 

Norwich Fancy, 294, 327. 

Scotch Fancy, 238. 

Yorkshire Fancy, 263. 
Claw, deformed, 133. 
Claws and beaks, long, 80, 130. 
Cleaning breeding-cages, 52. 

Seed, 194. 

Close and open shows, 376. 
Cocoanut nest, 61. 
Cold (catarrh), 129. 
Colour, influence of foods, &c., on, 

Preserving, 179. 
Colouring cages, 12. 
Committees of shows, their duties, 

&c., 396. 
Common canary, 349. See Border 


Condition, birds out of, 71. 
Confinement, evil effects of, 121. 
Consanguinity, 105. 
Constipation, 130. 
Consumption, 130. 
Coppy, Lancashire, 251. See 
Manchester Coppy. 

Coppy, Manchester, 251. See 

Manchester Coppy 
Coppy or crest, 286. 
Cost of common canaries, 211. 
Cough, 128, 131. 
Cramp, 133. 
Crested birds, 180, 204. 
Cinnamons, 271, 280. 
Norwich, 286, 302. 
Norwich, modern, 314. See 

Norwich, modern crested. 
Cripples, 192. 
i Cross breeds, 358. 
! Crown or crest, 286. 
I Crushing seed, 57. 
Crystal Palace indoor aviary, 40. 
Cumberland fancy, 349. See 

Border Fancy. 
Cutting claws and beaks, 80. 


Damp rooms, 179. 

Dark goldfinch mules, 107. 

Mule breeding, choice of gold- 
finches for, 109. 
Decline, 133. 

Deformed beaks and claws, 80, 

Birds, 192. 
Delicate health, 77. 
Detached bird house, 87. 
Diarrhoaa, 133. 
Diary, 67, 181. 

Example of, 183. 
Difficulties experienced in breed- 
ing, 70. 

Diphtheria, 135. 
Dirty feet, 80. 
Diseases, 121 : 

Apoplexy, 124. 

Asthma, 125. 

Broken limbs, 127. 

Bronchitis, 128. 

Cataract, 144. 

Catarrh, 129. 

Causes of, 122. 

Chorea, 129. 

Cold, 129. 

4 22 


Diseases: constipation, 130. 

Consumption, 130. 

Cough, 128, 131. 

Cramp, 133. 

Decline, 133. 

Deformed hind claw, 133. 

Diarrhoea, 133. 

Diphtheria, 135. 

Dysentery, 135. 

Egg-bound, 136. 

Enteritis, 136. 

Epilepsy, 138. 

Fainting, 152. 

Feather. eating, 139. 

Fevers, 149, 154. 

Fits, 139. 

General remarks on, 121. 

"Going light," 133. 

Hepatitis, 140. 

Inflammation of the bowels, 

Imflammation of the liver, 

Inflammation of the lungs, 

Loss of voice, 144. 

Ophthalmia, 144. 

Overgrown beaks and claws, 
80, 130. 

Parasites, 52, 143, 145. 

Phthisis, 130. 

Pip, 147. 

Pneumonia, 147. 

Eupture, 137, 148. 

Scarlet Fever, 149. 

Sore feet, 151. 

Surfeit, 152. 

Sweating, 74. 

Swollen joints, 152. 

Syncope, 152. 

Tumours, 153. 

Typhus Fever, 154. 

Vermin, 52, 143, 145. 

Warts, 154. 

"Wasting away," 133. 

Wens, 153. 

Wounds, 161. 

Dispositions of canaries, 51. 
Distance, sending birds to a, 108. 
Distinction of sex, 188. 

Distinguishing marks, 79. 

District prizes, 396. 

Don, Glasgow, 235. See Glasgow 

Doors, beads for, 37. 

Cage, 9. 

Double buffs for mule breeding, 

Yellows for mule breeding, 


Draughts, protection from, 165. 
Drawers, egg, 46. 
Drawing feathers, 371. 
Drawing-room cage, 118. 
Drinking- troughs, 41 
Dun, 266. See Cinnamon. 
Duplicate nests, 110. 
Dutch canaries, 352. 
Duties, committee's, 396. 

Secretary's, 397. 

Treasurer's, 412. 
Dysentery, 135. 


Egg-bound, 64, 136. 

Egg-drawers, 46. 

Eggs, fertile, to know, J9. r * 

Impregnating, 195. 

Mice destroying, 187. 

Nest, 64. 

Removal of, 65. 

Troughs for, 4G. 

Unfruitful, 81. 
Enteritis, 136. 
Entries for show, arranging, 403. 

Late, 406. 
Epilepsy, 138. 
Excellence, standards of. See 

Standards of excellence. 
Exhibition, breeding birds for, 71. 

Prepar ng birds for, 371 
Expenses of shows, 390. 

Fainting, 152. 
Fits, 139. 



Feather-eating, 139. 
Feathers, drawing, 371. 
Feeding, hand, 77. 
Feet, dirty, 80. 

Sore, 80, 151. 
Felt lining for nests, 59. 
Fertile eggs, to know, 195. 
Fever, scarlet, 149. 

Typhus, 154. 
Fire and gas in rooms with birds, 


First brood, 77. 
Fits, 139. 
Flight-cages, 36. 
Flighting stock birds, 51. 
Food, 122. 

Cheap, for young birds, 207. 

During moult, 163. 

For Belgians, 228. 

For newly-paired birds, 56. 

Green, 63. 
Food, hoppers for, 44. 

Influence of, on colour, 170. 

Prepared, 57. 
Forcing a moult, 1 66. 
Foster mothers, 78. 
French canaries, 358. 


Gas and fire in rooms with birds, 

German canaries, 354 : 

Breeding, 355. 

Price of, 354. 

Teaching, to sing, 355. 
German paste, 199. 
Glasgow Don, 235 : 

Breeding, 233. 

Classes, 238. 

"Going Light," 133. 

Origin of, 237. 

Packing-case for, 47. 

Points of, 239. 

Standard of excellence, 241. 

Style of, 241. 

Travelling, 240. 

Goldfinch and canary mules, 92, 
107, 359. 

Goldfinches, Cheverell and Pea- 
throat, 101, 109. 

For mule breeding, 109. 

Newly-caught, 112. 
Grain, poisoned, for vermin, 186. 
Green canaries, 352 : 

Breeders of, 355. 

Breeding, 353. 

Points of, 354. 

St. Andreasberg fanciers' 
treatment of, 355. 

Standard of excellence, 354. 
Green food, 63. 


Hand-feeding, 77. 

Hartz Mountain Boilers, 355. 

Hatching, 70, 90. 

Health, hens with delicate, 77. 

Heating bird room, 86. 

Hens, barren, 81. 

Irregularly laying, 82. 

Leaving cocks beside, during 
incubation, 73. 

Mule, rearing canaries, 197. 

Eefusiug to feed their pro- 
geny, 76. 

Euptured, 148. 

Singing, 81. 

Sweating young birds, 74. 

Young, breeding from, 72. 
Hepatitis, 140. 
Hints, miscellaneous, for shows, 


Holes in wire cages, 5. 
Hoppers, seed, 44. 
Hind claw, deformed, 133. 
Hybrids or mules, marked canaries 
mistaken for, 196. 


Importing Belgians, 215. 
Impregnating eggs, 195. 
Incubation, 64, 89, 111. 

Leaving cocks beside hens 
during, 73. 



Incubation of mules, 111. 
Indexing exhibition entries, 403. 
Indoor aviary, 40. 
Inflammation of the bowels, 136. 

Of the liver, 140. 

Of the lungs, 143. 
Influence of food on colour, 170. 

Of light during moult, 165. 

Of parents on the progeny 
(mules), 92. 

Of various ingredients on 

colour during moult, 171. 
Internal parasites, 143. 
Introduction of the canary, 210. 
Irregularly laying hens, 82. 


Joints, swollen, 152. 
Judges, advice to, 414. 

Announcing the names of, 


At shows, treatment of, 408. 
Judging-books, 408, 415. 
Judging, standards for. See 
Standards of excellence. 


Labelling for shows, 49. 
Lancashire breeding-cage, 25. 

Coppy, 251. See Manchester 

Late breeding, 89. 

Entries for shows, 406. 
Laying hens, irregular, 82. 
Lean-to aviary, 38. 
Learning songs of other birds, 


Lice, 145. 
Light, excluding, 373. 

Influence of, during moult, 


Limbs, broken, 127. 
Lime and sand, 79. 
Lining for nests, 59. 
Linnet and other mules, 118. 
Liver, inflammation of the, 140. 

Lizard, 331 : 

Breeding, 332. 

Breeding-cages, for 16, 19. 

Classes, 336. 

Points of, 336. 

Show-cages for, 25, 32. 

Show plumage of, 332. 

Standard of excellence, 339,. 

Trimming, 331. 

Type of, 340. 
London Fancy, 341 : 

Breeders of, 341. 

Breeding, 346. 

Classes for, 347. 

Crosses with, 342. 

Judging, 343. 

Moulting box for, 167. 

Nest feather birds, 345. 

Origin of, 341. 

Points of, 347, 

Show-cages for, 25. 

Standard of excellence, 348. 
Long claws and beaks, 80. 
Loss of voice, 144. 
Lungs, inflammation of the, 147. 

Making cages, 2. 
Management, general, 51. 
Manchester Coppy, 251 : 

Breeding, 254. 

Breeding-cage for, 16. 

Classes, 255. 

Origin of, 251. 

Points of, 252. 

Standard of excellence, 258. 
Marked canaries mistaken for 

mules or hybrids, 196. 
Marking birds, 200. 
Marks, distinguishing, 79. 
Mating for mules, 112. 
Measuring Yorkshire Fancies, 261. 
Meetings for arranging shows, 


Mice, exterminating, 184, 187. 
Mills for crushing food, 57. 
Miscellaneous hints for shows, 



Modern Cinnamon, 274. See 
Cinnamon, modern. 

Crested Norwich, 314. See 
Norwich, modern crested. 

Plainhead Norwich, 308. See 
Norwich, modern plain- 

Scotch Fancy, 242. See 

Scotch Fancy, modern. 
Mothers, foster, 78. 
Moulting, age at which it com- 
mences, 163. 

Box for London Fancy, 167. 

Cayenne when, 170. 

Crested birds, 180. 

Critical time for, 162. 

Damp rooms when, 179. 

Food during, 163. 

Forcing, 166. 

Influence of light whilst, 165. 

Influence of various foods on 
the colour, 170, 171. 

Numbers together whilst, 168. 

Preserving colour whilst, 

Protection from draughts 
whilst. 165. 

Season for, 162. 

Show birds, 169. 

Symptoms and first treatment, 

Mule-breeding, 91. 

Cages for, 116. 

Canaries for, 102. 

Double buffs for, 104. 

Double yellows for, 104. 

Goldfinches for, 109. 

Uncertainties of, 91. 
Mules, 359. 

Cages for young, 117. 

Canary for singing, 191. 

Goldfinch, 107. 

Goldfinch and canary, 92, 359. 

Good, 91. 

Hen, rearing canaries, 197. 

Incubation of, 111. 

Influence of parents on the 
progeny, 92. 

Linnet and canary, 118, 361, 

Mules, marked canaries mistaken 
for, 196. 

Mating for-, 112. 

Singing, 191. 

Siskin and canary, 362. 

Varieties of, 92, 359. 
Mutilated birds, 192. 


Nails for tin nests, 76. 
Natural alliance, 111. 
Nests, 58. 

Box, 62, 115. 

Duplicate, 110. 

Eggs for, 66. 

Screw nails for tin, 76. 

Young birds cast out of, 82. 
Nestlings, solitary, 79. 
Newly-caught goldfinches, 112. 
Newly-paired birds, food for, 56. 
Non-cayenne fed birds, 177. 
Norwich Fancy, 284: 

Breeding, 287. 

Breeding-cages for, 16, 19. 

Classes, 294. 

Clear, 284, 288, 294, 295, 301. 

Crested, 286, 295, 298, 300, 

Evenly-marked, 286, 290, 292, 
294, 296, 300, 301. 

Green, 289, 301. 

Marking of, 287. 

Origin of, 284. 

Points of, 295. 

Show cages for, 25, 33. 

Standards of excellence, 301, 

Ticked, 289, 295, 301, 306. 

Trimming, 287. 

Unevenly - marked, 289, 295, 

Variegated, 304. 

Varieties of, 284. 
Norwich, modern crested, 314 

Breeding, 316. 

Classes, 327. 

Origin of, 314. 

Points of, 316. 



Norwich, modern crested : prices 
of, 323. 

Size of, 317. 

Standards of excellence, 322, 

Norwich, modern plainhead, 308 : 

Breeding, 310. 

Origin of, 308. 

Points of, 312. 

Preparing for exhibition, 371. 

Size of, 318. 
Number.^, moulting in, 168. 


Officers of societies, 385. 

Open and clo^e shows, 376, 383. 

Ophthalmia, 144. 

Orders for catalogues of shows, 410. 

Original canary, 209. 

Origin of Belgian, 212. 

Border Fancy, 350. 

Glasgow Don, 237. 

Lancashire Coppy, 251. 

London Fancy, 341. 

Manchester Coppy, 251. 

Norwich Fancy, 284, 308, 314. 

Scotch Fancy, 237. 

Scotch Fancy, modern, 247. 
Outdoor aviaries, 37. 
Overgrown claws and beaks, 80, 

Overtrained Belgians, 232. 


Packing Belgians for show, 230. 

Birds and returning after 

shows, 47, 407. 
Packing-cases, 47. 

Prizes for, 396. 
Painting cages, 12. 
Pairing, 54. 

Pairs, managing single, 68. 
Pampering, evil effects of, 123. 
Pans, nesting, 62. 
Parasites, 52, 143, 145. 
Parentage of young birds 67 

Parents, influence of, on progeny, 


Paring claws and beaks, 80. 
Paste, German, 199. 
Patrons of shows, 386. 
Pea-throat goldfinches, 101, 109. 
Phthisis, 130. 
Pip, 147. 

Plainhead Norwich, modern, 80S. 
See Norwich modern plain- 

Plucking of young, 75. 
Pneumonia, 147. 
Points of Belgian, 225. 

Border Fancy, 349. 

Cinnamon, 272. 

Glasgow Don, 239. 

Green canary, 354. 

Lancashire Coppy, 252. 

Lizard, 336. 

London Fancy, 347. 

Manchester Coppy, 252. 

Modern Cinnamon, 275. 

Modern crested Norwich, 316. 

Modern plainhead Norwich, 

Modern Scotch Fancy, 250. 

Norwich Fancy, 295, 312, 3i6. 

Scotch Fancy, 239. 

Yorkshire Fancy, 263. 
Points, prizes for, 394. 
Poisoned grain for vermin, 186. 
Polishing cages, 14. 
Powdering food, 57. 
Prepared food, 57. 
Preparing birds for exhibition, 371. 
Preserving colour, 179. 
Prices of canaries, 211. 

From cages, removals of, 410. 

Of prize Belgian, 217. 
Printing for i-hows, 398. 
Prize money, sending, 414. 
Prizes, best variety lor breeding 
for, 191. 

District, 396. 

For packing-cases, 396. 

Points, 394. 

Progeny, hens refusing to feed 
their, 76. 

Influence of parents on, 92. 



Programmes of show?, 399. 
Protection from draughts during 

moult, 165. 

Pulmonary consumption, 130. 
Purchasers, caution to, 148. 
Purchasing birds, 197, 200. 

Quaker, 266. See Cinnamon. 


Bake for cage-cleaning, 53. 
Eats in bird rooms, 181, 204. 
Bearing Belgians, 220. 
Receiving and staging birds at 

shows, 405. 
Bed-fed birds, classification of, 


Bed-feeding, 171, 178. 
Bemoval of eggs whilst laying, 65. 

Of prices from cages, 410. 
Beturning birds from shows, 407. 
Booms, damp, 179. 

Gas and fire in, 194. 

Mice or rats in bird, 184, 204. 

Separate, 52. 

Bules and regulations of societies, 

Of a Belgian society, 232. 
Bunning out Belgians, 222. 
Eupture, 137. 
Buptured hens, 148. 


Saffron cake, 199. 

St. Andreasberg fanciers and 

green canaries, 355. 
Sand and lime, 79, 123. 
Scarlet fever, 149. 
Schedules, 390, 400. 
Scotch Fancy, 235. ' See Glasgow 


Scotch Fancy, modern, 242 : 
Breeding, 2i4, 250. 

Scotch Fancy, modern : faults ot, 

Origin of, 247. 

Points of, 250. 

Standard of excellence, 250. 
Screw nails for tin nests, 76. 
Sea-sand, 123. 
Season, breeding, 55. 

Moulting, 162. 

Second and other broods, 82. 
Secretaries, treatment of Belgians 
by, 230. 

Duties of, at shows, 397. 
Seed, cleaning, 194. 

Crushing, 57. 

Hoppers, 44. 

Selecting Belgians for breeding, 

Breeding place, 76. 
Selling tickets for shows, 409. 
Sending birds to a distance, 198. 

Birds from shows, 407. 

Prize money, 414. 
Separate rooms, 51. 
Servants for shows, 392. 
Sex, distinction of, 188. 
Show birds, 169, 204. 

Cages, 25. 
Shows, 376 : 

Accounts of, 409, 412. 

Advertising, 393. 

Advice to judges, 414. 

Announcing the names of 
judges at, 392. 

Assistance and treatment of 
judges at, 408. 

Attendants at, 392. 

Breeding birds for, 71. 

Cages for, 25. 

Catalogues for, 403, 419. 

Checking accounts of, 409. 

Close, 376. 

Committees' duties at, 396. 

District prizes at, 396. 

Entry-form for, 402. 

Expenses of, 390. 

First All-England, 210. 

Indexing entries for, 403. 

Judges at, 392, 408, 414. 

Late entries at. 406. 



Shows : meetings and general 
business at, 388. 

Officers for, 385 

Open, 383. 

Packing birds for, 47, 407. 

Patrons of, 386. 

Points prizes at, 394. 

Preparing birds for, 371. 

Printing for, 398. 

Prizes at, 394, 401, 414. 

Programmes for, 399. 

Receiving birds at, 405. 

Removal of prices from cages, 

Returning birds from, 407. 

Rules for, 400. 

Schedules for, 390, 400. 

Secretary's duties at, 397. 

Servants employed at, 392. 

Selling tickets for, 409. 

Staging birds at, 405. 

Tickets for, 389, 409. 

Treasurer's duties at, 412. 
Shrubs, branches of, for aviaries. 


Sib-bred birds, 93, 105. 
Sing, birds declining to, in the 
presence of other birds, 
Singing birds, cages for, 35. 

Canary or canary mule for ? 

Hens, 81. 

Single pairs, how to manage, 68. 
Siskin and canary mules, 362. 
Soap for washing canaries, 365. 
Societies, Belgian, rules of, 232. 

And close and open shows, 

Officers of, 385. 
Solitary nestlings, 79. 
Songs of other birds, canaries 

learning, 190. 
Sore feet, 151. 
Spangle-backs, 358. 
Specimen of balance sheet, 413. 

Of entry form, 402. 

Of programme for show, 

Staining cages, 14. 

Standards of excellence : 

Belgian, 227. 

Border Fancy, 350. 

Cinnamon, 273, 279. 

Dark goldfinch mules, 263. 

Glasgow Don, 241. 

Goldfinch and canary mules. 
360, 361. 

Green canaries, 354. 

Lancashire Coppy, 258. 

Lizard, 339. 

London Fancy, 348. 

Manchester Coppy, 258. 

Modern Cinnamon, 279. 

Modern crested Norwich, 322, 

Modern Scotch Fancy, 250. 

Norwich Fancy, 301, 302, 318, 
322, 330. 

Scotch Fancy, 241. 

Yorkshire Fancy, 262, 264, 


Staging birds for show, 405. 
Stock birds, flighting, 51. 
Straightener, wire, 11. 
Stud book, 67, 182. 
Surfeit, 152. 
Sweating, 74. 

Young birds, hens, 74. 
Swollen joints, 152. 
Symptoms of, and first treatment 
during moult, 163. 

Of diseases, 121. 
Syncope, 152. 


Tail-feathers, drawing, 371. 

Taming birds, 192. 

Tassel or crest, 286. 

Teaching German canaries to sing, 

Telegram, 277. See Cinnamon, 


Tempers of canaries, 51. 
Tickets for shows, 389. 

Selling, for shows, 409. 
Timid birds, 190. 
Tin, drinking, 42. 



Tin nests, 58, 76. 
Tools for cage-making-, 4. 
Top-knot, toppin, or crest, 286. 
Travelling, 198. 
Travelling-cages, 34. 
Treasurer's duties, 412. 
Troughs, drinking, 41. 

Egg, 46. 
Tumours, 153. 
Twins, 205. 
Typhus fever, 154. 


Unfruitful eggs, 81. 
Unhealthy birds, 71. 


Varieties, best, for breeding for 
prizes, 191. 

Of canary, 211. 

Of mules, 92, 359. 

Of Norwich Fancy, 284. 
Various ingredients, influence of, 

during moult, 135. 
Varnishing cages, 14. 
Vermin, 52, 143, 145. 
Voice, loss of, 144. 


Warming bird-room, 86. 
Warnings, 200. 
Warts, 154 
Washing Belgians, 228. 

Canaries, 80, 364. 
" Wasting away," 133. 

Water-troughs, 41. 

Weaning young birds, 79. 
{ Wens, 153. 
I Wild canary, 209. 
j Wing-feathers, drawing, 372. 
, Wire straightener, 11. 
I Wiring cages, 6. 
j Wood for cages, 5. 
I Wounds, 161. 


Yellow-fed birds, classification of, 


Yellow feeding, 178. 
Yellows, double, for mule breeding, 

Yorkshire Fancy, 259 : 

Breeding, 259. 

Breeding-cage for, 16. 

Clasees for, 263. 

Measuring, 261. 

Points of, 263. 

Show-cage for, 32. 

Standards of excellence of, 

262, 264, 265. 
Young birds : Hens sweating, 74. 

Cast out of the nest, 82. 

Cheap food for, 207. 

Dead in shell, 206. 

Dying when a few days old, 

Feeding other birds, '206. 

Hens refusing to feed, 76. 

Influence of parents on, 92. 

Parentage of, 67. 

Parents plucking, 75. 

Weaning, 79. 
Young hens, breeding from, 72. 

Mules, cages for, 117. 






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For full Details of mir Atlases, Wall Maps, Wall Illustrations, Object Lesson Picture*, Terrestrial 
and Celestial Globe*, etc., see our Catalogue which is posted gratis to any address. 

W. & A. K. JOHNSTON, Ltd., 

Edlna Works, Easter Road, and 20, South Saint Andrew Street, 
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DR. J. 0. BROWNE (late 
Army Medical Staff) DIS- 
to denote which he coined 
the word CHLORODYNE. 
Dr. Browne is the SOLE 
INVENTOR, and, as the 
composition of Chlorodyne 
cannot possibly be dis- 
covered by Analysis (or- 
ganic substances defying 
elimination), and since the 
formula has never been 
published, it is evident that 
any statement to the effect 
that a compound is iden- 
tical with Dr. Browne's 
Chlorodyne -must be false. 

This caution is necessary, 
as many persons deceive 
purchasers by false repre- 


HEALTH, London, 
REPORT that it acts as a 
CHARM, one dose gener- 
ally sufficient. 
Dr. GIBBON, Army Medi- 
cal Staff, Calcutta, states: 

! Extract from one of his 
{ published letters to his wife : 
! "I had a return of a bad 
| cold yesterday morning 
preached with two pocket- 
handkerchiefs to a great 
congregation at St. Mary's, 
ate a 'cold collation' at 
three o'clock, saw clergy on 
business until five o'clock, 
went to a ' parochial tea ' at 
six o'clock ; sat out no end 
of tea, glees, and speeches 
until half -past nine; finished 
off with a speech until ten 
o'clock, came here very bad 
with v-old, took Chlorodyne 
j and went to bed very miser- 
1 able ; woke next morning 
' quite well." 







liquid medicine which 
assuages PAIN of EVERY 
KIND, affords a calm re- 
freshing sleep WITHOUT 
VIGORATES the nervous 
system when exhausted. 


cuts short all attacks of 




this REMEDY has given 
rise to many UNSCRUPU- 
careful to observe Trade 

Of ail Chemists, 1/li, 2/9, 
and 4/6. 



The ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS of September 28, 1895, says: 
" If I were asked which single medicine I should prefer to take abroad with me, as 
likely to be most generally useful, to the exclusion of all others, I should say 
CHLORODYNE. I never travel without it, and its general applicability to the relief 
of a large number of .simple ailments forms its best recommendation." 

8UJ03 .1 .iff 


s Pric 

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tisements set for 


To the Practical Handbooks 
Published by L. Upcott Gill, London, and 

Chas. Scribner's Sons, New York, 






BEGONIAS ... .. 8 

LACE, HAND-MADE .... 13 






POKER WORK . . 15 



CARD GAMES . . 8. 9, 10, 11, 

DENING .^ 12 

15, 17, 18 


FRUIT 12, 18 


GRAPES . 12 






ING 12 




MENT 12, 13 





POOL . 15 



ORCHIDS . ............ 14 




BOOKS 14 17 




COINS .. 9,10 



COOKERY ........7,10,11 

HANDWRITING ........ 13 



LACE, HAND-MADE .... 13 












GOATS . . . . .. 12 



METAL WORKING 8,16,17, 19 

PIGS 15 


POULTRY 11 13 16 


SHEEP ^ 17 


STOCK RECORDS 8, 15, 17, 18 




14, 15, 19 


INSECTS- 8,9,11, 13 

TORY 14 


VIVARIUM ............ 18 


BIRDS ,...,..8,9,11,15,19 

CATS'.?.... 9 

DOGS . . 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18 

GUINEA PIGS ...._ 13 

MICE.. ........ 14 

PIGEONS .. 15 


ANGLING . .......... .7, 17 




LAWN. TEN*; s 13 

SAILING .. 8, 13. 14, 16, 17 
SKATING .............. 17 

















PLACES ~ 17 

ING ~ 14 

212 C 10/03. 

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Alpine Plants. A Practical Method for Growing the rarer and more difficult 
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Obtain Them, and How to Keep Them in Health. By REV. GREGORY 
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Autograph Collecting: A Practical Manual for Amateurs and Historical 
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Bazaars and Fancy Fairs : Their Organization and Management. A 
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Bee-Keeping, Book of. A very practical and Complete Manual on the Proper 
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Bees and Bee-Keeping: Scientific and Practical. By F. R. CHESHIRE, 
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Begonia Culture, for Amateurs and Professionals. Containing Full Direc- 
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Bent Iron Work : A Practical Manual of Instruction for Amateurs in the Art 
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Birds, Favourite Foreign, for Cages and Aviaries. How to Keep them in 
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Birds, Wild, Cries and Call Notes of, described at Length, and in many 
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Boat Building and Sailing, Practical. Containing Full Instructions for 
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Boat Sailing for Amateurs, Practical. Containing Particulars of the 
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Breeders' and Exhibitors' Record, for the Registration of Particulars con- 
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Bridge Whist: Its Whys and Wherefores. The Game taught by Reason 
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Bunkum Entertainments: A Collection of Original Laughable Skits on 
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Butterflies, The Book of British : A Practical Manual for Collectors and 
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Cabinet Making for Amateurs. Being clear Directions How to 
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Cactus Culture for Amateurs: Being Descriptions of the various 
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Cage Birds, Diseases of: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. A 
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paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Cage Birds, Notes on. Second Series. Being Practical Hints on the 
Management of British and Foreign Cage Birds, Hybrids, and Canaries. By 
various Fanciers. Edited by DR. W. T. GREKNE. In cloth gilt, price 6/-, by 
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Canary Book. The Breeding, Bearing, ami Management of all* Varieties of 
Canaries and Canary Mules, and all other matters connected with this Fancy. 
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Canaries, General Management of. Cages and Cage-making, Breeding, 
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Canaries, Exhibition. Full Particulars of all the different Varieties, their 
Points of Excellence, Preparing Birds for Exhibition, Formation and Manage- 
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Canary-Keeping for Amateurs. A Book for the Average Canary-Keeper. 
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In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Cane Basket Work: A Practical Manual on Weaving Useful and Fancy 
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Card Tricks. By HOWARD THURSTON. A Manual on the Art of Conjuring 
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Card Tricks, Book of, for Drawing-room and Stage Entertainments by 
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wrapper, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Carnation Culture, for Amateurs. The Culture of Carnations and Picotees 
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Cats, Domestic and Fancy. A Practical Treatise on their Varieties, 
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Chip-CarVing as a Recreation. A Practical Manual for Amateurs, containing 
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Chrysanthemum Culture, for Amateurs and Professionals. Containing Full 
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paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Chrysanthemum, The Show, and Its Cultivation. By C. SCOTT, of 
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Churches, Old English : Their Architecture, Furniture, Decorations, Monu- 
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CLINCH, F.G.S. Magnificently illustrated. In cloth gilt, price 6/6, by post 6/9. 

Coffee Stall Management. Practical Hints for the Use of those Interested 
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Coins, a Guide to English Pattern, in Gold, Silver, Copper, and Pewter, 
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Coins of Great Britain and Ireland, a Guide to the, in Gold, Silver 
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Cold Meat Cookery. A Handy Guide to making really tasty and much 
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Collie Stud Book. Edited by HUGH DALZIEL. In doth gilt, price 3/6 each, 
by post 3/9 each. 

Vol. 1., containing Pedigrees of 1308 of the best-known Dogs, traced to 
their most remote known ancestors ; Show Record to Feb., 1890, &c. 

Vol. II. "Pedigrees of 795 Dogs, Show Record, &c. 
Vol. III. Pedigrees of 786 Dogs, Show Record, &c. 

Conjuring, Book of Modern. A Practical Guide to Drawing-room and 
Stage Magic for Amateurs. By PROFESSOR R. KUNARD. Illustrated. In 
paper, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Conjuring and Card Tricks, Book of. By PROF. R. KUNARD. Being 
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Conjuring for Amateurs. A Practical Handbook on How to Perform 
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Conjuring with Cards: Being Tricks with Cards, and How to Perform Them. 
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Cookery, The Encyclopaedia of Practical. A complete Dictionary of all 
pertaining to the Art of Cookery and Table Service. Edited by THEO. FRANCIS 
GARRETT, assisted by eminent Chefs de Cuisine and Confectioners. Profusely 
Illustrated with Coloured Plates and Engravings by HAROLD FURNESS, GEO. 
CRUIKSHANK, W. MUNN ANDREW, and others. In demy 4to half morocco, 
cushion edges, 2 vols., price 3 3/-; 4 vols., 3/13/6. 

Cucumber Culture for Amateurs. Including also clear Directions for the 
Successful Culture of Melons, Vegetable Marrows and Gourds. Illustrated. 
By W. J. MAY. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Cyclist's Route Map of England and Wales. Shows clearly all the Main, 
and most of the Cross, Roads, Railroads, and the Distances between the 
Chief Towns, as well as the Mileage from London. In addition to this, Routes 
of Thirty of the Most Interesting Tours are printed in red. Fourth Edition, 
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Dainties, English and Foreign, and How to Prepare Them. By MRS. 
DAVIDSON. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Designing, Harmonic and Keyboard. Explaining a System whereby an 
endless Variety of Most Beautiful Designs suited to numberless Manufactures 
may be obtained by Unskilled Persons from any Printed Music. Illustrated 
by Numerous Explanatory Diagrams and Illustrative Examples. By C. IL 

WILKINSON. Demy Uto, cloth gilt, price 3 3/-, by post 3/3/8. 

Dogs, Breaking and Training : Being Concise Directions for the proper 
education of Dogs, both for the Field and for Companions. Second Edition. 
By " PATHFINDER." With Chapters by HUGH DALZIEL. Many new IJlustra- 
tions. In cloth gilt, price 6/6, bypostb/10. 

Dogs, British. A Modern History of the Domesticated Canine Race: Their 
Points, Selection, and Show Preparation. Third Edition. By W. D. DRURY, 
Kennel Editor of "The Bazaar," assisted by eminent specialists. Beautifully 
Illustrated with full-page engravings of typical dogs of the present time, 
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Dogs, Diseases of: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment ; Modes of 

Administering Medicines; Treatment in cases of Poisoning, &c. For the use 
of Amateurs. By HUGH DALZIEL. Fourth Edition. Entirely Re-written and 
brought up to date. In paper, price 1 -, by post 1/2; in doth gilt, price 2J-, by 
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Dog-Keeping, Popular: Being a Handy Guide to the General Management 
and Training of all Kinds of Dogs for Companions and Pets. By J. MAXTEE. 
Illustrated. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Dragonfiies, British. Being an Exhaustive Treatise on our Native Odonata ; 
Their Collection, Classification, and Preservation. By W. J. LUCAS, B.A. 
Very fully Illustrated with 27 Plates, Illustrating 39 Species, exquisitely 
printed in Colour, and numerous Black-and- White Engravings. In cloth gilt, 
price 31/6, by post 32/-. 

Egg Dainties. How to Cook Eggs, One Hundred and Fifty Different Ways, 
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Egg and Poultry Raising at Home. A Practical Work, showing how 
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Eggs Certificate, Fertility of. These are Forms of Guarantee given by the 
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of eggs, as they induce purchases. In looks, with counterfoils, price bd., by 
post Id. 

Engravings and their Vaiue. Containing a Dictionary of all the Greatest 
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gilt, price 15/-, by post 15/5. 

Entertainments, Amateur, for Charitable and other Objects: 

How to Organise and Work them with Profit and Success. By ROBERT 
G ANTHONY. In paper, price I./., by post 1/2. 

Feathered Friends, Old and New. Being the Experience ot many years' 
Observations of the Habits of British and Foreign Cage Birds. By DR. W, T. 
GREENE. Illustrated. In cloth gilt, price 5/-, by post 5/4. 

Ferns, The Book of Choice : for the Garden, Conservatory, and Stove. 
Describing the best and most striking Ferns and Selaginellas, and giving ex- 
plicit directions for their Cultivation, the formation of Rockeries, the 
arrangement of Ferneries, &c. By GEORGE SCHNEIDER. With numerous 
Coloured Plates and other Illustrations. In 3 vols., large post 4(o. Cloth gilt, 
price 3 3^, by post JB3 5/-. 

Ferns, Choice British. Descriptive of the most beautiful Variations from the 
common forms, and their Culture. By C. T. DRUERY, F.L.S. Very accurate 
Plates, and other Illustrations. In cloth, gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Ferrets and Ferreting. Containing Instructions for the Breeding, Manage- 
ment and Working of Ferrets. Second Edition. Re-written and greatly 
Enlarged. Illustrated. New Edition. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Firework Making for Amateurs. A complete, accurate, and easily 
understood work on making Simple and High-class Fireworks. By DR. W. H. 
BROWNE, M.A. In coloured wrapper, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Fish, Flesh, and Fowl. When in Season, How to Select, Cook, and Serve. By 
MARY BARRETT BROWN. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/3. 

Fortune Telling by Cards. Describing and Illustrating the Methods by 
which the wouJd-be occult Tells Fortunes by Cards. By J. B. PRANGLEY. 
.Illustrated. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Fox Terrier, The. Its History, Points, Breeding, Rearing, Preparing for 
Exhibition, and Coursing. By HUGH DALZIEL. Second Edition, Revised and 
brought up to date by J. MAXTEE (Author of " Popular Dog-Keeping "). Fully 
illustrated. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2 ; in cloth, with Coloured Frontispiece 
and several extra plates, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

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Fox Terrier Stud Book. Edited by HUGH DALZIEL. In cloth gilt, price 3/6 
each, by post 3/9 each. 

Vol. I., containing Pedigrees of over 1400 of the best-known Dogs, traced 

to their most remote known ancestors. 
Vol. It. Pedigrees of 1544 Doga, Show Record, &c. 
Vol. III. Pedigrees of 1214 Dogs* Show Record, &c. 
Vol. IV. Pedigrees of 1168 Dogs, Show Record, &c. 
Vol. V. Pedigrees of 1662 Dogs, Show Record, &c. 

Fret-work and Marquetry. A Practical Manual of Instructions in the Art 
of Fret-cutting and Marquetry Work. By D. DENNING. Profusely Illustrated. 
In cloth gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Friesland Meres, A Cruise on the. By ERNEST R. SUFFLINO. Illustrated. 
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Fruit Culture for Amateurs. An illustrated practical hand-book on the 
Growing of Fruits in the Open and under Glass. By S. T. WRIGHT. With 
Chapters on Insect and other Fruit Pests by W. D. DRURY. Second 
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Game Preserving, Practical. Containing the fullest Directions for Rearing 
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Gardening, Dictionary of. A Practical Encyclopaedia of Horticulture, for 
Amateurs and Professionals. Illustrated with 3150 Engravings. Edited by 
G. NICHOLSON, Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ; assisted by Prof. 
Trail, M.D., Rev. P. W. Myles, B.A., F.L.S., W. Watson, J. Garrett, and 
other Specialists. In 5 vols., large post Ato. Cloth gilt, price 4, by post 
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Gardening, Home. A Manual for the Amateur, Containing Instructions for 
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Gardening in Egypt. A Handbook of Gardening for Lower Egypt. With a 
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Gardening, Open- Air : The Culture of Hardy Flowers, Fruit, and Vegetables. 
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Gardening, the Book of : A Handbook "of Horticulture. By 'well-known 
Specialists, including J. M. Abbott, W. G. Baker, Charles Bennett, H. J. 
Chapman, James Douglas, Charles Friedrich, A. Oriessen, F. M. Mark, 
Trevor Monmouth, G. Schneider, Mortimer Thorn, J. J. Willis, and Alan 
Wynne. Edited by W. D. DRURY (Author of " Home Gardening," 
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Goat, Book of the. Containing Full Particulars of the Various Breeds of 
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Goat-Keeping for Amateurs : Being* the Practical Management of Goats 
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Grapo Growing for Amateurs. A Thoroughly Practical Book on Successful 
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Greenhouse Construction and Heating. Containing Full Descriptions 
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Instructions for Fixing the Same. By B. C. IlAVENSCROFT. Illustrated. In 
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Greenhouse Management for Amateurs. The Best Greenhouses and 
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necessary information for the Guidance of the Amateur. By W. J. MAY. 
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Guinea Pig, The, for Food, Fur, and Fancy. Its Varieties and its Manage- 
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Handwriting, Character Indicated by. With Illustrations in Support of 
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Hardy Perennials and Old-fashioned Garden Flowers. Descriptions, 
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Hawk Moths, Book of British. A Popular and Practical Manual for all 
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Borse Buying and Management. A Practical Handbook for the 
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Horse- Keeper, The Practical. By GEORGE FLEMING, C.B., LL.D., 
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Horse- Keeping for Amateurs. A Practical Manual on the Management 
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Horses, Diseases of: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. For the 
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Incubators and their Management. By J. H. SUTCLIFFE. New Edition, 
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Jack All Alone. Being a Collection of Descriptive Yachting Reminiscences. 
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Kennel Management, Practical. A Complete Treatise on the Proper 
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Lace, A History of Hand-Made. By MRS. E. NEVILL JACKSON. 
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Library Manual, The. A Guide to the Formation of a Library, and the Values 

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Lip-Reading, Practical ; for the use of the Deaf. By E. F. BOULTBEE. In 

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Marqueterie Wood- Staining for Amateurs. A Practical Handbook 
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Medicine and Surgery, Home. A Dictionary of Diseases and Accidents, 
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Mice, Fancy: Their Varieties, Management, and Breeding. Third Edition, 
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Model Yachts and Boats : Their Designing, Marking, and Sailing. Illustrated 
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Mountaineering, Welsh. A Complete and Handy Guide to all the Best Roads 
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Mushroom Culture for Amateurs. With Full Directions for Successful 
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Naturalists' Directory, The. Invaluable to all Students and Collectors 

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Needlework, Dictionary of. An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain, and Fancy 
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Orchids: Their Culture and Management. By W. WATSON (Curator, Royal 
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Cultivation, a List of Hybrids and their Recorded Parentage, and Detailed 
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Painting, Decorative. A practical Handbook on Painting and Etching upon 
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Palmistry, Life Studies in. The hands of Notable Persons read according 
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Palmistry Modern. By I. OXENFORD, Author of Life Studies in Palmistry. 
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Paper Work, Instructive and Ornamental. A practical book on the 
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Parcel Post Dispatch Book (registered). An invaluable book for all who 
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Parrakeets, Popular. How to Keep and Breed Them. By W. T. 
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Parrot, The Grey, and How- to Treat it. By W. T. 'GREENE, M.D., M.A., 
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Patience, Games of, for one or more Players. How to Play 173 different 
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Pedigree Record, The. Being Part I. of " The Breeders' and Exhibitors' 
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Photographic Printing Processes, Popular. A Practical Guide to 
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Photography (Modern) for Amateurs. Fourth Edition. Revised and 
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Pianofortes, Tuning and Repairing. The Amateur's Guide, without the 
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Picture-Frame Making for Amateurs. Being Practical Instructions 
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Pig, Book of the. The Selection, Breeding, Feeding, and Management of the 
Pig; the Treatment of its Diseases; The Curing and Preserving of Hams, 
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Pig-Keeping, Practical: A Manual for Amateurs, ba?e;l on personal 
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Pigeon-Keeping for Amateurs. A Complete Guide to the Amateur 
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Poker Work, A Guide to, including Coloured Poker Work and Relief Turning. 
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Polishes and Stains for Woods : A Complete Guide to Polishing Wood- 
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Pool, Games of. Describing Various English and American Pool Games, and 
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Portraiture, Home, for Amateur Photographers. Beiag the result of many 
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Postage Stamps, and their Collection. A Practical Handbook for Collectors 
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Postage Stamps of Europe, The Adhesive : A Practical Guide to their 
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In connection with these Publications on Postage Stamps we have arranged 
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Postmarks, History of British. With 350 Illustrations and a List of 
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Pottery and Porcelain, English. A Guide for Collectors. Handsomely 
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Poultry-Farming, Profitable. Describing in Detail the Methods that Give 
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Poultry-Keeping, Popular. A Practical and Complete Guide to Breeding 
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Rabbit, Book of the. A Complete Work on Breeding and Rearing all Varieties 
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Rabbits, Diseases of: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Cufe. With a Chapter 
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Rabbits for Prizes and Profit. The Proper Management of Fancy Rabbits 
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Rabbits, Exhibition. Being descriptions of all Varieties of Fancy Rabbits, 
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Repousse Work for Amateurs. Being the Art of Ornamenting Thin 
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Roses for Amateurs. A Practical Guide to the Selection and Cultivation of 
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Sailing Guide to the Solent and Poole Harbour, with Practical Hints 
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St. Bernard Stud Book. Edited by HUGH DALZIEL. 2 Vols., containing 
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Sea-Fishing for Amateurs. A Practical Book on Fishing from Shore, Rocks,, 
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Sea-Life, Realities of. Describing the Duties, Prospects, and Pleasures of 
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Seaside "Watering Places. A description of the Holiday Resorts on the 
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Sea Terms, a Dictionary of. For the use of Yachtsmen, Voyagers, and 
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Shadow Entertainments, and How to Work them: being Something about 
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Sheep Raising and Shepherding. A Handbook of Sheep Farming. By 
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Sheet Metal, Working in : Being Practical Instructions for Making and 
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Show Record, The. Being Part III. of "The Breeders' and Exhibitors' 
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Skating Cards : An Easy Method of Learning Figure Skating, as the Cards- 
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Sleight of Hand. A Practical Manual of Legerdemain for Amateurs and 
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Solo Whist. It Whys and Wherefores. A Progressive and Clear Method 
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Sporting Books, Illustrated. A Descriptive Survey of a Collection of 
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Taxidermy, Practical. A Manual of Instruction to the Amateur in Collect- 
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Tomato Culture for Amateurs. A Practical and very Complete Manual on 
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Trapping, Practical : Being some Papers on Traps and Trapping for 
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Vamp, How to. A Practical Guide to the Accompaniment of Songs by the 
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Vegetable Culture for Amateurs. Containing Concise Directions for the 
Cultivation of Vegetables in small Gardens so as to insure Good Crops. 
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Ventriloquism, Practical. A thoroughly reliable Guide to the Art of 
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Violins (Old) and their Makers. Including some References to those of 
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Violin School, Practical, for Home Students. Instructions and Exercises 
in Violin Playing, for the use of Amateurs, Self -Learners, Teachers, and 
others. With a Supplement on " Easy Legato Studies for the Violin." 
By J. M. FLEMING. Demy 4to, doth gilt, price 9/6, by post 10/2. Without 
Supplement, price 7/6, by post 8/-. 

Vivarium, The. Being a Full Description of the most Interesting Snakes, 
Lizards, and other Reptiles, and How to Keep Them Satisfactorily in Confine- 
ment. By REV. G. C. BATEMAN. Beautifully Illustrated, In cloth gilt, price 
7/6, by post 8/-. 

War Medals and Decorations. A Manual for Collectors, with some 
account of Civil Rewards for Valour. By D. HASTINGS IRVVIN. Revised 
and Enlarged Edition. Beautifully Illustrated. In cloth gill, price 12/6, by 
post 12/1Q. 

Whippet and Race-Dog, The: How to Breed, Rear, Train, Race, and 
Exhibit the Whippet, the Management of Race Meetings, and Original Plans 
of Courses. By FREEMAN LLOYD. In doth gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/10. 

Whist, Bridge : Its Whys and Wherefores. The Game taught by Reason 
instead of by Rule, on the same popular lines as "Scientific Whist" and 
" Solo Whist," and by the same author, C. J. MELROSE. With Illustrative 
Hands printed in Colours. New and Revised Edition. In cloth gilt, price 3/6, 
by post 3/10 ; in half leather, gilt top, 5/6, by post 5/10. 

Whist, Solo : Its Whys and Wherefores. A Progressive and Clear Method 
of Explanation and Illustration of the Game, and how to Play it Success- 
fully. With Illustrative Hands printed in Colours. By C. J. MBLROSE. In 
cloth gilt, price 3/6, by post 3/10 ; in half leather, gilt top, 5/6, by post 5/10. 

Whist, Scientific: Its Whys and Wherefores. The Reader being taught by 
Reason rather than by arbitrary Rules. With Illustrative Hands printed in 
Colours. By C. J. MKLROSE. In cloth gilt, price 3/6, by post 3/10 ; in half 
leather, gilt top, 5/6, by post 5/10. 

All Books are Nett- 


Wildfowling, Practical : A Book on Wildfowl and Wildfowl Shooting. By 
HY. SHARP. The result of 25 years' experience of Wildfowl Shooting under all 
sort of conditions of locality as well as circumstances Profusely Illustrated. 
Demy Bvo, cloth gilt, price 6/-, by post 6/4. 

Wild Sports in Ireland. Being Picturesque and Entertaining Descriptions of 
several visits paid to Ireland, with Practical Hints likely to be of service to the 
Angler, Wildfowler, and Yachtsman. By JOHN BICKERDYKE, Author of " The 
Book of the All-Round Angler," fec. Beautifully illustrated from Photographs 
taken by the Author. In cloth gilt, price 6/-, by post 6/4. 

Window Ticket Writing. Containing full instructions on the Method of 
Mixing and using the Various Inks, &c., required, Hints on Stencilling as 
applied to Ticket Writing, together with Lessons on Glass Writing, Japanning 
on Tin, &c. Especially written for the use of Learners and Shop Assistants. 
By WM. C. SCOTT. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Wire and Sheet Gauges of the World. Compared and Compiled by 
C. A. B: PFEILSCHMIDT, of Sheffield. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/1. 

"Wood Carving for Amateurs. Full instructions for producing all the 
different varieties of Carvings. SECOND EDITION. Edited by D. DENNING. 

In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

Workshop Makeshifts. Being a Collection of Practical Hints and 
Suggestions for the use of Amateur Workers in Wood and Metal. By 
H. J. S. CASSALL. Fully Illustrated. In cloth gilt, price 2/6, by post2/9. 

Wrestling. A Practical Handbook upon the Catch-hold and Greece-Roman 
Styles of Wrestling ; a splendid system of Athletic Training. By PERCY LONG- 
HURST, winner in the Light-weight Competition, G.G.S., 1899. Profusely 
Illustrated. In paper, price I/-, by post 1/2. 

All Books are Nett. 

British Dogs. 

A modern History of the Domesticated 
Canine Race : their points, selection, and 
show preparation. Third Edition, by 
W. D. DETJBY, Kennel Editor of the 
" Bazaar," assisted by eminent special- 
ists. Beautifully illustrated with full- 
page engravings of typical dogs of the 
present time, mostly produced from 
photographs of living dogs, and 

numerous smaller illustrations in the 

This is the fullest work on the various breeds of 

dogs kept in England. In one Volume, demy 8vo. 

cloth gilt. Price 125. 6d., by post 135. 


For Weakly Puppies and Dainty Feeders. 


This Meal Is especially supplied to meet the case of 
Puppies who are off their feed and do not thrive, and as 
a Conditioner for Adult Dogs who are 5hy Feeders. 

When Puppies are over the earlier stages of their 
puppyhood they should have Spratt's Patent Puppy Cakes, 
varied with "No. 0" Rodnim and the Malt and Cod Liver 
OH Puppy Biscuits. 



i sold in 3d. Packets and in 6d. and I/- Sealed Bags; also la 
Bags, pries 71b.. 1/6; 141b.. 2/9: K cwt., 5/6; X cwt.. 10/6 1 

1 cwt., 20/-. 
Sample % cut. sent Carriage Paid to nearest Railway Station for 10 f 6. 

Illustrated Catalogue of Kennels and Exhibitors' Appliances Pott 
Free of 



24 * 25, Fenchurch Street, London, E.G. 



This book is due on the last date stamped below, or on the 

date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 

JUL 3 1 1954 

4 , 


MAY 2 3 1960 

21-100m-l, '54 (1887slG) 476 


YC 20459 

H\K? ir lf>5